February 8, 2018

Blockchain in Transport Alliance partners with finance trade group

Teaming up with Wall Street Blockchain Alliance will allow BiTA to be logistics industry "help desk," group says.

By Ben Ames

Logistics technology trade group Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) said Tuesday it will partner with the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA), an organization representing financial institutions, to seek solutions to financial challenges in supply chain management applications.

By partnering with the Wall Street group, BiTA plans to gain access to experts in the financing of global trade, Craig Fuller, BiTA's co-founder, said in an interview. Building partnerships with groups like WSBA will allow BiTA to act as a logistics industry "help desk," offering consulting services to members who are trying to apply blockchain to solve specific issues in their industries, Fuller said

"Supply chain is about the movement of product through a system, and we knew that getting banks and financial institutions involved was important for establishing standards to apply blockchain to international cross-border letters of credit, as well as other financial aspects of the freight industry, such as accounts receivable, capital leasing, and financing businesses," Fuller said.

BiTA will also look for alliances with groups with expertise in additional areas, such as law, insurance, and telecommunications, he said. "Where blockchain is successful is where you have alliances across networks, across frameworks, across markets," said Fuller. "We're never going to be experts at finance, so we're looking for cross-industry collaboration."

BiTA plans to guide the development of blockchain-based data-sharing software in the transportation industry, and to create open standards for the high-profile technology. Blockchain creates a distributed ledger of information that can be read by all the members of a particular blockchain, but cannot be changed by an individual member. Whether it's used to track logistics data and transactions or to support crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, the technology allows trading partners to share access to secure databases.

BiTA has grown quickly in recent weeks, adding logistics industry companies like BNSF Railway Co., UPS Inc., FedEx Corp., SAP SE, McLeod Software, and Trimble Inc.

As of earlier this week, BiTA has 205 active members, and 350 more who've been accepted and are being vetted for membership. All told, about 1,200 have applied to join the group.

BiTA also plans to leverage its new partnerships by offering educational tracks on blockchain at its series of industry events and conferences, Fuller said.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

More articles by Ben Ames

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