The journey of Contour started with an opportunity - how can we solve the riddle of digitisation of trade and trade finance?
Paper and process driven, the traditional methods of trade finance create significant barriers for global trade growth, adding complexity, cost, and delays to both banks and corporates. A digitised world of global trade would drive trillions in new global trade flows and extend the benefits to smaller corporates as well as large.
To effectively digitise this process and others, it would require users around the world to agree on a common process and a common network, and no one bank, country, or corporate could ever accomplish this alone.
Traditional 'FinTechs' have attempted with centralised platforms, but this has been a barrier to scale as users are cautious to hand over sensitive trade data to a third party.
Contour is different. We use the power of decentralisation to provide common tools and resources to help banks and corporates build a global network for trade, without having access to any transactional data or being a single point of failure.
Only through collaboration, powered by permissioned and decentralised network technologies, can we together digitise trade and solve this riddle.
The first step is to digitise what is one of the oldest and most important trade finance tools - the letter of credit.
In January 2020, Contour was formed and went live as a Beta network. After conducting successful trials with 80+ banks and corporates in over 17 countries, Contour announced its official launch into live production in October 2020 – becoming the world's first, open-to-all, decentralised trade finance network.