Vodafone, Sumitomo team up with Chainlink to explore trade documents network


Vodafone Digital Asset Broker (DAB) has joined the Chainlink network as a node operator after completing a proof-of-concept with Japanese trading and investment company Sumitomo for exchanging trade documents across platforms. The companies hope to improve document transfer and processing of financial transactions in the $32-trillion global trade ecosystem, Vodafone said.

The proof-of-concept used oracle network Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). DAB “provide[d] security and interoperability across IoT devices at the edge of a network.” The proof-of-concept showed the potential of Vodafone Internet-of-Things devices and blockchains to provide data for use in contracts and AI applications. Potentially, a single interface could be created to transfer data and tokens, the company said:

“For example, a vessel detecting a cargo fire could autonomously relay data to smart contracts via DAB’s platform and CCIP, potentially triggering a marine cargo insurance process.”

Trade documents are a particular challenge because they may exist on paper or on digital platforms with low interoperability and need to change hands repeatedly.

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International telecommunications company Vodafone launched DAB in February 2022 and first used it with Mastercard in a trial in the United Kingdom of an app to help electric vehicle drivers find and pay for the best charging options.

Vodafone teamed up with Sumitomo in May. The companies formed a new entity, in which Vodafone held 80%. Vodafone transferred DAB, as well as intellectual property, contracts, technology and software, into the new business. The two companies also invested jointly in Safaricom Ethiopia.

Vodafone DAB partnered with enterprise blockchain Aventus in August intending to improve the supply chain in aviation.

CCIP launched on Ethereum’s Arbitrum One layer-2 in September to increase scaling. It also worked with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) to test an Australian dollar stablecoin the same month.

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