It is a very rough time for the cryptocurrency industry ad its service providers. We.Trade, a bank-backed blockchain consortium for trade finance, has filed for insolvency. All shareholders agreed to pull the plug, given the current market conditions.
We.Trade Is Done And Dusted
It is unfortunate to see any crypto venture meet an early demise. Hopes were high for We.trade, as the consortium represented various banks willing to explore blockchain technology. Establishing a coalition for trade finance could open up exciting new opportunities on a global scale. Notable backers include Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, and Santander.
Despite being around since 2017, We.trade never gained much traction. Development was still ongoing earlier this week; although the company will wind down operations in the coming weeks. Additionally, the insolvency filing means PricewaterhouseCoopers will be appointed as a liquidator. More information on those proceedings will be shared in the coming weeks.
It is interesting to see this project come to an early end. IBM has represented a 7% stake in the project since May 2020. Unfortunately, their involvement was insufficient to keep the platform from running up costs with nothing to show for it. Moreover, the consortium struggled to bring in fresh capital for some time. Ultimately, pulling the plug was the only viable option.
It is unclear whether the licensees and shareholders of We.trade will pursue other blockchain opportunities in the future. Caixabank, HSBC, Rabobank, and consorts are all shareholders in this project and have expressed a keen interest in distributed ledgers. However, it seems plausible to assume they will focus their attention in-house after We.trade fell apart.