Daimler pioneers ‘Marco Polo’ blockchain payment system

Marco Polo

German auto maker Daimler has launched its own blockchain finance network named Marco Polo.

Daniel Palmer reports at Coindesk this morning that the pilot program was used to engineer a payment to a engineering and parts firm, with a German bank as an intermediary.

“Once the ordered equipment was delivered, the fulfillment data was entered onto Marco Polo and automatically reconciled with the agreed transaction data, thus triggering an irrevocable payment obligation,” Palmer writes. “Founded by startups R3 and TradeIX, Marco Polo is built on R3’s Corda blockchain platform. The network aims to deliver real-time connectivity, boost transparency in trading relationships and lower barriers to accessing capital.”

As Palmer points out, part of the impetus for the blockchain program was inefficiencies and delays in traditional paper-based transaction protocols that drove internal teams to seek solutions.

Similarly, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are trying to find ways to circumvent the traditional SWIFT international transaction system that carries its own costs and delays.

Many of the biggest fans of cryptocurrencies trumpet the idea that Bitcoin and various altcoins are leveling the financial landscape and providing seamless and frictionless moving of money across borders and between important parties.

Marco Polo may be an important piece of that, at least by example. One way to think about it is in like that old game where one person yells ‘Marco’ and the other person yells ‘Polo,’ and they eventually find each other from different sides of the pool.

Cryptocurrency transactions can be like that. Based on a consensus model that’s decentralized, they offer unique opportunities to make banking different than it has been for the rest of recorded human history. That’s one reason long-term buy and holders are still very confident about Bitcoin despite its price crash today.