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International Chamber of Commerce launches blockchain alliance with startup

ICC international chamber of commerce

Today the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will announce the ICC Blockchain/DLT Alliance. It’s forming a relationship with tokenized blockchain startup Perlin, which has yet to launch its blockchain network. The alliance aims to support supply chains and cross-border trade finance. The ICC will introduce its members to the Alliance, helping attract users to the Perlin platform.

Perlin looks interesting at a technical level. But we highlight some caveats below.

The ICC is the umbrella body for Chambers of Commerce in 130 countries that represent 45 million businesses globally. Both the ICC and local Chambers of Commerce play crucial roles in trade. For example, when goods arrive for customs clearance, a Certificate of Origin is required, and local Chambers of Commerce issue these certificates. The ICC runs a major dispute arbitration service, is involved in standards setting for trade and is part of a Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation.

With the latest announcement, there’s future potential for the ICC to act as a trusted intermediary for the blockchain platform for a small fee. According to Forbes, there’s a proof of concept in progress for a traceability app applied to textiles for fabric producer Asia Pacific Rayon (APR).

There are already several sizeable global blockchain consortia focusing on trade finance including komgo, Marco Polo, Voltron, And many more focused on trade such as the IBM/Maersk TradeLens project and the Global Shipping Business Network with five of the world’s top ten shipping companies.

All of these networks use permissioned enterprise blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum and R3’s Corda in contrast to Perlin’s public tokenized chain. However, Perlin’s emphasis will be more on the SME sector.

Perlin’s technology

Perlin relies entirely on cryptography for privacy. Some of the cryptography such as homomorphic encryption is more advanced than used on most blockchains. This approach contrasts with many enterprise blockchain technologies which segment data so that only those privy to transactions host information.

On paper, several technical aspects of Perlin look interesting. It’s not a blockchain it’s a directed acyclic graph (DAG) as is Hedera Hashgraph. It also uses the Avalanche consensus protocol. This is the same technology which respected academic Emin Gün Sirer is using to build a new coin.

Due diligence

While clearly, the ICC alliance is a huge business win, it’s worth examining other Perlin associations. Perlin has a relationship with DX.Exchange which tokenizes stocks like Apple and Tesla enabling fractional ownership. It sounds innovative, but below is some basic due diligence.

The main DX.Exchange shareholder is Limor Patarkazishvili. She was also the main shareholder in Israeli binary options software company SpotOption which was run by her husband, Pinhas. DX.Exchange employs many former SpotOption staff. Pinhas has a prior conviction for falsifying signatures on checks.

DX.Exchange works with MPS Marketplace Securities which buys and custodies the underlying stocks. Reuven Peterkazishvili owns MPS. In 2016 MPS (then called Spot Option Exchange) was censured by the Cyprus regulator because “it failed, in June 2014, to act fairly, honestly and professionally, in accordance with the best interests of its clients.” At that stage, MPS was involved in B2B dealings, whereas now it’s B2C.

Dorjee Sun, CEO of Perlin said of the relationship: “We will further disrupt the status quo by aggressively leveraging our established networks in India, Indonesia and other emerging economies to support greater user adoption for DX Exchange.” In future, some of these networks will include ICC members.