Russia: Raiffeisen Bank, Gazprom Partner to Issue Bank Guarantee on Blockchain

The Russian subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International has partnered with local state-owned oil giant Gazprom Neft to issue a bank guarantee on blockchain, Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported Nov. 12.

According to Kommersant, the bank guarantee was issued to conduct a trade finance transaction involving four parties, Raiffeisen, Gazprom Neft, Belarusian firm Mozyr Oil Refinery, Priorbank of Belarus. Raiffeisen acted as an advising bank for the Russian oil company, while Priorbank of Belarus, which is part of  Raiffeisen bank group, issued a bank guarantee for the deal via blockchain.

The system used was reportedly developed by Raiffeisen, on the basis of the bank’s blockchain platform R-chain, which it released in 2017. According to Tatyana Ivashkova, head of documentary transactions and trade finance at Raiffeisen Russia:

"Four nodes participated in the transaction, that is, all parties were fully connected to the platform.”

Normally the banks would release a guarantee via their internal system, notifying the client only after the fact, Ivashkova states. Using blockchain, however, reportedly allows all participants to have access to the documents simultaneously, allowing the deal to be finalized as soon as the payment is made, shortening processing time.

Raiffeisen has already tested blockchain before, issuing an electronic mortgage using local blockchain platform Masterchain — a Russian interbank platform created by major market players to transfer valuable data via a decentralized network. The bank then revealed its plans to connect Rosreestr, the Russian state agency that collects data on real estate, to streamline e-mortgage issuance.

As Cointelegraph reported Nov. 12, a group of major global oil companies have recently announced the launch of a blockchain-driven platform for energy commodity trading. The decentralized network, which includes banks ABN Amro, ING, and Societe Generale, along with major trading houses, will officially begin operations by the end of November in the North Sea oil market.