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Maqta Gateway LLC, an Abu Dhabi Ports subsidiary, unveiled at GITEX Technology Week on October 14 that it began implementing the city’s first international blockchain pilot testing project in partnership with the Port of Antwerp, Belgium.

Abu Dhabi Ports to Trial Its Blockchain Solution for International Trade

The proof-of-concept (PoC) trial will be conducted by Maqta Gateway using its own blockchain platform, Silsal. The platform, which launched in June 2018, is an innovative solution that uses the open digital ledger system to allow participants of the international trade to record and extract transaction details with greater security, transparency, and efficiency, thus providing a seamless and secure link between all stakeholders across the trading community.

In a press release, Maqta explained that the platform is expected to help the companies handle trade documentation between the United Arab Emirates and Belgium, “providing full cargo visibility and streamlining trade flows and supply chains.”

The pilot’s aim is to find the best way to scale blockchain systems in world trade, as well as provide transaction security and lower integration costs. The results of the project are reportedly expected by the end of 2018.

A Wave of Blockchain Explorations Underway

Maqta’s product is expected to play a vital role in the trade between the UAE and Belgium, with Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, saying that the partnership is incredibly important to both countries.

According to Port Today, recent research of World Economic Forum has revealed that distributed ledger technology such as blockchain could boost trade by more than 1 trillion USD in the next 10 years. While blockchain’s potential still remains largely untapped, some countries have realized the positive implications the technology could have on trade.

Associated British Ports, a major U.K. port operator, partnered with Marina Transport International in September 2018, with the digital logistics operator tasked with applying blockchain technology to the port’s operation.

One of the busiest ports in Spain based in the city of Valencia has announced the creation of a “smart port” in October 2018. The port will use blockchain and big data technologies to improve logistics only in Valencia, but in other international ports, they trade with.

Global delivery giant FedEx has also jumped on the blockchain bandwagon by joining the Hyperledger blockchain consortium in October 2018. And, in August, tech giant IBM and shipping major Maersk announced a global trade blockchain platform called TradeLens with 94 companies already on board as participants.