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Blockchain shipping network GSBN using Oracle, AntChain for hosting


Yesterday the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) announced its blockchain platform is live with four hosting partners after launching its first application in July for cargo release. Non profit GSBN is backed by COSCO SHIPPING lines (COSCO) and ports, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL, SPG Qingdao Port, PSA International, and the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG).

As a result, it claims that its partners handle one in three containers shipped around the world. The network aims to digitalize maritime trade using blockchain.

CargoSmart originally developed the technology, but when GSBN incorporated in Hong Kong earlier this year, it was announced that new Hong Kong startup IQAX would be the technology provider. However, some team members also work for Cargo Smart.

As with most blockchain platforms, the GSBN blockchain is just one layer in the stack, with applications on top of it. In this case, the enterprise blockchain technology is Hyperledger Fabric. 

For the blockchain layer, the primary hosting partner is Oracle, with AntChain providing nodes in China. Admittedly this initially confused us, because AntChain has its own proprietary blockchain (MyChain). However, AntChain also provides a managed blockchain as a service (BaaS) solution, and it is this that’s being used in China.

“Our Fabric nodes in both international and China territories are connected to form one enterprise blockchain network. By using managed blockchain solutions, GSBN is well positioned to expand quickly across multiple jurisdictions,” Edmund To, CTO of GSBN told us via email.

For the platform layer, Microsoft Azure in Singapore is being used for hosting, and Alibaba Cloud supports the AntChain offering.

Hyperledger Fabric is proving popular in shipping, with the other major shipping blockchain TradeLens also using the technology.