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GSBN partners with ZAN to harness Web3 to tokenise eBLs and unlock new economic opportunities

The announcement made during Hong Kong FinTech Week will see the two collaborate in paving way to the securitisation of $25 trillion in global trade flows

Photo: Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN (second from left) and Guoqiang Dai, GM of Strategic Consultant, Ant Group Digital Technologies (third from right) signed the MoU to explore technical innovations for tokenising the electronic Bill of Lading (eBL).

6 November 2023, HONG KONG – Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a neutral, not-for-profit consortium enabling efficient, paperless and sustainable growth in global trade with its data infrastructure and ecosystem of partners, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ZAN to explore technical innovations for tokenising the electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) with the support of Hong Kong’s Web3 environment, to unlock new economic values for participants in global trade.

As a technology brand of Ant Group Digital Technologies, ZAN brings reliable and cost-efficient technical products and services for blockchain application development to the Web3 community. The announcement was made during Hong Kong FinTech Week, the city’s flagship fintech conference. This comes at a time when there is growing investment and focus in Web3 development in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong which is establishing itself as an integrated international finance and digital asset hub.

The Bill of Lading is a legally binding document which details a physical shipment and serves as a means of transferring the title of goods. Today, 99% of global trade is still being conducted using paper documents with over 45 million Bills of Lading couriered around the world every year to ensure shipments keep moving. However recent developments including advances in blockchain technology, the enactment of Electronic Trade Documents Act in 2023 in the United Kingdom, have seen the shipping industry accelerate its adoption of electronic Bills of Lading (eBLs) with 9 of the largest shipping lines committing to full adoption by 2030.

One of the key use cases for Web3 is the tokenisation of Real-World Assets that can unlock tangible economic value and new financing opportunities. In this case, a tokenised eBL can pave way to the securitisation the world’s $25 trillion trade flows and bridge the global trade finance gap which is estimated to currently stand at $2.5 trillion according to the Asian Development Bank.

Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN, said, “We are in the right place at the right time. The move towards eBL is already a major leap for the industry but together with tokenisation, we can go one step further. Together with ZAN, we will explore tokenising the rights to these shipments with the aim of unlocking an entirely new asset class. From here, we can create new securitisation opportunities to bridge the world’s trade finance gap and create the foundations for novel business models.”

Zhang Hui, CEO of ZAN, said, “Blockchain-powered trusted data infrastructure brings an ideal foundation for promoting digitalised industry collaboration and addressing some of the stickiest challenges in the shipping industry. We are excited to partner with GSBN to leverage Web3 technologies to improve the efficiency and reliability, and explore new frontiers of global trade.”


About GSBN

The Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) is a neutral, not-for-profit consortium whose mission is to enable efficient, paperless and sustainable growth in global trade with its data infrastructure and ecosystem of partners. GSBN facilitates trusted collaboration between participants across the shipping industry to enable greater efficiencies, paperless trade as well as supporting the shipping industry’s decarbonisation transition.

GSBN’s ecosystem includes shipping lines, terminals, banks, application developers and other consortia. The entire network accounts for more than half of the containers handled in the world.

About ZAN

As a technology brand of Ant Group Digital Technologies for Web3 products and services, ZAN provides rich and reliable services for business innovations and a development platform for Web3 endeavors. The ZAN product family includes ZAN eKYC, ZAN KYT, ZAN Smart Contract Review, ZAN Node Service, with more products in the pipeline.


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