GSBN trials data ‘clean rooms’ with HSBC to streamline trade financing

Maritime blockchain consortium Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has completed a proof-of-concept project with HSBC to apply confidential computing technology using data clean rooms to exchange trade finance data. 

Banks typically require information on various aspects of a client’s business when agreeing to provide financing, examining their working capital cycle, trade routes, counterparties, or other data that can often only be obtained from paper documents such as bill of ladings, invoices and contracts.

The proof-of-concept between GSBN and HSBC trialled an alternative method that allows the aggregation of shipping records across shipping lines through the use of a data ‘clean room’, provided by technology partner Decentriq.

For the proof-of-concept, synthetic shipment details provided by carriers via GSBN were aggregated and processed in the clean room, allowing HSBC to access the statistics to examine customers’ shipping activities, such as number of shipments, distribution of cargo nature, and average cargo quantity.

The aggregation process removes sensitive or unnecessary information, displaying only required data to the bank for its assessment, while the combined use of blockchain and confidential computing technologies provides security throughout the data lifecycle.

“This latest collaboration with HSBC demonstrates GSBN’s unique position not only as a trusted data utility platform, but also as a liaison between banks, carriers and other stakeholders to explore new value-adding applications,” said Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN.

“We will continue to collaborate with our members and partners to expand the applications of confidential computing technology.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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