Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures has invested £3.85 million in VAKT, a company that uses blockchain for commodity post-trade processing. 

The platform manages physical energy transactions from trade entry to final settlement, eliminating reconciliation and paper-based processes. Built using blockchain technology, it provides a single source of truth for buyers and sellers that is safeguarded with an immutable, distributed audit trail.

Aramco is the thirteenth investor in the platform. The other twelve are made up of “international players involved in energy and commodities trading” according to a statement from Aramco. It added that this investment “will help VAKT with further development of the platform and expansion into new markets – particularly into Asia.”

This deal means Aramco Trading will become a new future user of the platform, which is currently live in the North Sea BFOET crude oil market. 

It will bring its own North Sea trading volumes, which will add to VAKT’s already high market share, “and is ready for VAKT’s expansion into new markets”, it added. 

Hans Middelthon, managing director of Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, said: “the platform has the potential to digitise what is currently a very manual process and be truly transformative to end users and customers. …Leveraging blockchain theory and applying it to the complicated world of post-trade processing, VAKT has made a compelling pitch to become an integral part of market infrastructure.”

Etienne Amic, VAKT CEO, added: “The North Sea is just the start for us. In a few short months, we have learnt a great deal from having the platform in production and iterating our product to make it better suited for global waterborne oil.”

He said VAKT is on a path to becoming “the backbone of the post-trade processing of physical commodities.”

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29th January 2020