| MELBOURNE, March 9
MELBOURNE, March 9 Simon Collins, the ex-head of
metals and minerals at trader Trafigura, is gearing up to launch
an online platform to match buyers and sellers in physical
Collins, a high-profile industry figure who left Trafigura
in 2015, said the Tradecloud system would start operating out of
Singapore in August. The platform will help traders to verify
new counterparties and reduce risk through steps such as
checking members' social media profile and endorsements.
It will also offer a messaging system that will compete with
similar ones from Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg and the Symphony
system set up by Goldman Sachs.
Tradecloud aims to centralise communication among traders,
which is currently spread across different systems including
wechat, Skype, email and others. It plans to host tenders for
refined metal shipments, moving eventually into minerals and
It will also host a service to authenticate counterparty
documents with banks and smart contract documentation that may
use blockchain technology. The platform is slated for beta
testing in May.
Ensuring customers are who they say they are, and metal is
where it is supposed to be, has been a live issue for physical
metals trading since a $3 billion dollar financing fraud in
China's Qingdao port rocked metals markets nearly three years
As recently as January, some global banks briefly froze
credit lines for Singapore metal traders after a unit of
commodities giant Glencore uncovered fake warehousing
"The beginning of the trading process, is how do we know
each other? There is all that data out there and it's a question
of capturing it," said Collins.
Trade in physical metals is not regulated, unlike futures
contracts on bourses such as the London Metal Exchange.
(Reporting by Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE. Additional reporting
by Pratima Desai in LONDON; Editing by Joseph Radford and