In late November blockchain oil platform, VAKT had a soft launch with five shareholders BP, Shell, Equinor, Gunvor and Mercuria going live on the system. Later this week at the London International Petroleum Week, the platform plans to officially launch into full production with four new clients to be announced.
The post-trade blockchain’s initial target market is Brent crude oil. According to a report today in the Financial Times, with the four new clients VAKT will cover two-thirds of North Sea oil crude trade deals. In the near future, it’s planning other oil segments such as ARA barges, waterborne markets and US crude pipelines.
The blockchain platform digitalizes the post-trade paperwork processes. It covers deal recap (deal details), confirmation, contract, logistics and invoicing. So it manages the cycle from trade entry to final settlement to eliminate reconciliation and paper-based processes. It also integrates with sister platform komgo which deals with trade finance in the form of Letters of Credit. The companies have seven investors in common.
The startup has been busy after appointing its first full-time CEO, Etienne Amic, just two weeks ago. Before that John Jimenez, CFO of North America Gas & Power at BP filled the position as interim CEO. Last week it opened offices in Lisbon, Portugal.
Last year, VAKT had three funding rounds raising $33 million from twelve significant shareholders. In December Chevron, Total and Reliance Industries each invested $5 million for 5.56% shareholdings.
The oil blockchain is based on JP Morgan’s Quorum flavor of Ethereum, and the technology partner is software consultancy ThoughtWorks.
Blockchain is also being adopted in several other commodity sectors.
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