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Bringing trade into the Web 3.0

In August 2023, a pioneering group of Singaporean and Indian companies and banks completed the world's first fully paperless cross-border transaction using the TradeTrust framework. This blockchain-powered protocol, developed by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), represents a significant advancement in the effort to digitize international trade.

The shipping industry has sought to implement electronic bills of lading since the 1980s to enhance efficiency, transparency, and security. However, these efforts have faced obstacles such as low adoption rates, lack of legal and technical interoperability, and resistance to change. Adoption of digital trade documentation has remained limited.

Singapore, whose economy is heavily reliant on shipping, has been a leader in this digital transformation. The country has developed legal frameworks for Electronic Transferable Records (ETRs) and conducted pilot projects to test new digital tools like verifiable credentials and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

In 2019, IMDA introduced TradeTrust to enable secure and efficient digital document exchanges and title transfers, addressing the interoperability issues of existing eBL platforms.

TradeTrust allows for independent verification of ETR authenticity by governments and businesses, leveraging Web 3.0 capabilities to overcome industry challenges.

Article by Siddarth Poddar for the Hinrich Foundation. Read more here or in the PDF below.

How Singapore is transforming digital trade _ White paper _ Hinrich Foundation
Download PDF • 2.41MB


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