Due to the current financial difficulties, IBM’s Hyperledger-driven trade finance blockchain platform, we.trade, is laying off nearly half of its workforce.
According to a Global Trade Review report, „more than a dozen employees“ were laid off and most were in the company’s vertical, product-centric trading markets.
HSBC is the first bank to finance transactions through Hyperledger at we.trade
We.trade was jointly owned and financed by 12 banks and influential financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Rabobank, Santander and Société Générale. Less than a month ago, IBM bought a 7% stake in the company, which, we have said, would help scale up its business globally.
We.trade has had quite a few successes in getting banks to use blockchain technology, as reported by Cointelegraph. In August 2019, Bitcoin Method became the first bank to settle a transaction through Hyperledger on the we.trade platform. Earlier this year, a major Spanish bank, CaixaBank, also began providing the we.trade platform service to its 15.8 million customers to make transactions more traceable and secure.
A major Spanish bank is the latest to introduce blockchain in European finance
Getting through the crisis
According to the Global Trade Review, we.trade’s financial problems began after the funds from its last round fell short of expectations, as many shareholder banks withdrew their interest in reinvesting in the company.
We.trade is now seeking alternative investments from other shareholders and licensees as it continues to operate with a reduced workforce. We.trade’s head of marketing, David McLoughlin, explained:
„As an early stage company, it is critical that we remain nimble and manage our resource needs as effectively as possible to ensure the company’s continued resilience.
IBM joins We.Trade as a shareholder to accelerate international trade
Highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on potential investments, McLoughlin said the pandemic, rather than obstructing business activities, has catalyzed it. The „digitization of trade and trade finance is no longer a luxury, but a duty,“ he said.
We.trade did not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comments.