Blockchain breakthrough extends trade finance to SME sector

Core+, a financial services start-up currently in stealth mode, will be an early adopter of innovative blockchain technology as it seeks to democratize trade finance accessibility.


The start-up, which plans to move to full launch within a few months, will use blockchain to provide small and medium enterprises with access to transactional financing and related tools. Financing solutions like this, it has said, have been previously inaccessible to SMEs, particularly female-owned businesses and a new generation of entrepreneurs in the developing world. 


The project is co-founded by James Emmett, former CEO of HSBC Bank Plc & HSBC Europe. He previously ran HSBC’s Global Trade Finance business, and has digital assets expertise as former CEO and Managing Director of Diem LLC (Libra) in Switzerland.


“Once our platform is launched, SMEs that are typically excluded from global finance, notably those in the developing world, will be able to access the financing they need for the first time to make and ship goods on competitive terms, helping to close the $1.7 trillion trade finance gap and creating much-needed local economic development,” commented Emmett. “The platform delivers this revolution to the multi-trillion dollar trade finance industry by building on the DNA of Web3 – including the multi-party automation smart contracts bring and the open financial constructs of Defi. This game-changing platform leverages both access to public ecosystems and the regulated, enterprise characteristics of a dedicated chain.”


Core+ is one of the first projects to harness new technology jointly developed by Kaleido, an enterprise-grade Web3 infrastructure platform, and Polygon, an Ethereum scaling platform. Their strategic partnership enables enterprises to build and launch dedicated blockchain networks tailored specifically to their needs. Kaleido leverages Polygon Edge, a dedicated framework allowing organizations to deploy customizable, application-specific, and highly performant blockchain networks and help meet surging demand from enterprises.


Kaleido’s platform provides built-in enterprise-grade infrastructure — with high uptime guarantees, 24×7 support, industry security compliance standards, high availability and more. It has underpinned the industry’s most successful and hardened enterprise blockchain initiatives over the last four years. Examples include Riskstream Collaborative (the insurance industry’s largest blockchain consortium worldwide), Synaptic Health Alliance (Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare, Quest Diagnostic, MultiPlan), Covantis (the leading global agribusinesses), along with the World Bank, IMF, HSBC, T-Mobile, Sony, Pepsi, and Mitsui. Kaleido’s customers leverage its platform of over 500 APIs and services to reach production faster and more cost-effectively.


Via Kaleido’s Blockchain Business Cloud, enterprises can run Web3 platforms such as institutional-grade digital asset platforms, gas-free NFT platforms, side chain-as-a-service platforms, and consortium-as-a-service platforms. In addition, a roadmap of blockchain innovations, including interoperability bridges and zero knowledge technologies, will be added to the Polygon Edge framework and made available on Kaleido’s fully managed blockchain business cloud.


Enterprises have long been investing in blockchain-based applications across a myriad of high-value use cases in all major industries such as financial services, supply chain, retail and healthcare. However, companies have long preferred to create private blockchains for reasons including privacy, scalability, and cost. Increasingly, they are also drawn to the openness and ecosystem that public chains offer.


“Enterprises are eager to tap into vibrant, open ecosystems and Polygon, at the heart of Ethereum, is a natural community for them to target,” said Sophia Lopez, Co-Founder and President at Kaleido. “However, companies have long been held back by various privacy concerns and the gas transaction fees required in public chains. Kaleido is proud to partner on new, innovative technologies like Polygon Edge that give enterprises the right mix of scalability, security, cost, and openness. With the Polygon Edge framework and its constellation of upcoming enhancements, we will bring enterprises into the future of Web3.”


Polygon is a carbon-neutral Ethereum-based scaling platform that reduces the high transaction fees and latency associated with the Ethereum mainnet. The network has become the go-to blockchain solution for global powerhouses, such as Stripe and Meta, to accelerate the next generation of enterprise solutions.


As the Polygon community has grown, the Polygon team has added a suite of scaling solutions, including Polygon Edge. Polygon Edge is a framework for creating a dedicated blockchain infrastructure where multiple dApps can be deployed. Edge is designed to connect to the Polygon mainnet and work together seamlessly with its other scaling technologies while also offering bridges to other networks. Kaleido will eventually harness Polygon Supernets, powered by Polygon Edge. Polygon Supernets are the fast-track for blockchain adoption in new private and public networks for dApps and enterprises alike. Polygon Supernets uses powerful Polygon Edge as the configurable infrastructure solution in a highly secure and decentralized environment.


“The Polygon Edge framework was designed with enterprises in mind, to help them simplify and speed up the process of building and launching their own customizable and secure Ethereum-compatible Blockchain networks,” added Antoni Martin, Enterprise Lead of Polygon and Co-Founder of Polygon.

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Book of the Month*

The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck

By Dr Christian Busch
Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. To other people it looks like “good luck”, but it is more the ability to recognise and seize an opportunity, rather than have good fortune thrust upon one. Finding a wallet stuffed with money on the conference room floor is good luck, whereas holding it up and asking if anyone has lost their wallet might be the beginning of a valuable friendship – that would be serendipity.

Chance encounters, or strokes of fortune, feature in countless stories of business success. This book looks beneath the surface, reveals and teaches the mindset that can transform pure chance into opportunity. The author is director of the Global Economy Program at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, and a lecturer at the London School of Economics.

Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. To other people it looks like “good luck”, but it is more the ability to recognise and seize an opportunity, rather than have good fortune thrust upon one. Finding a wallet stuffed with money on the conference room floor is good luck, whereas holding it up and asking if anyone has lost their wallet might be the beginning of a valuable friendship – that would be serendipity.

The author says “This is a book about the interactions of coincidence, human ambition and imagination”. In the above example: finding the wallet is the coincidence; ambition is the desire to make something of the discovery; add imagination and you open up a whole menu of possibilities: from spending spree to earning a reputation for honesty – or even making a wealthy friend.

Business is typically forged on human ambition and imagination, but early success often feeds an appetite for control – and “control freaks” can be blind to the opportunities thrown up by the unexpected. They only see chance events as distractions. If plans go awry, they may blame the failure on “bad luck” rather than admit their own inflexible attitude.

The author himself admits to being “a German who is used to planning” and prone to feel anxious when something unexpected happens. That makes him an ideal teacher, because he has worked hard to discover and analyse the mindset that enables one to “connect the dots” and cultivate serendipity. He presents a goldmine of examples from science, business and life where an apparent mishap or failure lead to a breakthrough.

Indeed, studies suggest that around 50% of major scientific breakthroughs emerge as the result of accidents or coincidences. A well-known example is Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, launching the whole field of antibiotics. Other examples include X-rays, nylon, microwave ovens, rubber, Velcro, Viagra and Post-it Notes – where would we be without these!

The book goes beyond the ability to recognise and respond to opportunities in chaos, but the subtitle – The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck – is actually a bit misleading. True, he does show ways to develop better fortune, but it would be better to call it “inviting” or “encouraging” good luck. For example, he suggests better ways to start a conversation with a stranger – ways that will make it more likely to lead to chance connections or shared interests.

The publishers may have chosen the word “creating” to make the book appeal to the human desire to control – for control freaks are exactly the readership that would benefit the most from this book’s wisdom and practical advice.

For the rest of us, it offers a great way to rediscover the sense of play that is so important in life – and too often lost in business.


“Following the success of The Serendipity Mindset hardback, a paperback edition has also now been launched under the title “Connect the Dots”.

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