New Commodity Platform Powered by Blockchain, IoT

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Forcefield is a digital platform for managing and tracing commodities throughout the entire supply chain lifecycle.

A group of global commodity firms and banks announced plans to launch a new blockchain-powered trading and finance platform operated as a market utility. The shareholders include Accenture, ABN Amro, Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, ING, Mercuria, and OCBC Bank.

They’ve partnered to develop and launch the platform — Forcefield — and a new legal entity — Forcefield Applied Blockchain Solutions Holding PTE.

Commodity Management & Tracing

Forcefield uses smart IoT sensors and blockchain technology to manage and trace commodities throughout the entire supply chain. The technology reduces risks and costs, enhances security, and simplifies commodity financing.

The platform uses IoT sensors and near-field communication chips to communicate with physical trade inventories. This communication allows users to effectively monitor the inventories, often loan collateral, and achieve more physical handling processes and cost reductions.

Shareholders can expect to access Forcefield by Q4 2019; the general public will gain access in early 2020. Forcefield will focus initially on refined metals but eventually expand to cover a range of dry bulk commodities in trading and financing.

“Forcefield is intended to mitigate systemic industry risks of the kind suffered in Qingdao through innovation,” said Tom Longmuir, counsel in Allen & Overy’s global banking and finance team, referencing the huge metals financing fraud in the eastern Chinese city in 2014. “It will do this by implementing a blockchain-based title and traceability concept in relation to physical supply, moving trading and financing away from paper-based to electronic systems.”

Banks in other sectors are assessing IoT as an option to improve lending. Standard Chartered has launched a pilot program for IoT-enabled smart distributor financing. Sensors allow stakeholders to track movement in real time between warehouses and product movement. This data enables lenders to more precisely fix repayment terms.

See also: Going Beyond Bitcoin: Critical Applications of Blockchain Beyond AI


Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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