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HSBC, RIL execute blockchain trade finance transaction.

Banking and financial services major HSBC and Reliance Industries Ltd on Sunday said that they have executed a first-of-its-kind blockchain trade finance transaction, validating the commercial and operational viability of blockchain as an alternative to conventional exchanges for paper-based documentation.

“This is an industry-first as the blockchain platform integrated with ‘Bolero’s electronic Bill of Lading’ (eBL) platform to issue and manage an electronic ‘Bill of Lading’,” a joint statement said.


“This allowed a digital transfer of the title of goods from the seller to the buyer in the underlying trade. It further enabled the underlying trade to be fully digitised.”

According to the statement, the end-to-end transaction was executed on “R3’s Corda” blockchain platform which is a single-shared application, rather than requiring multiple isolated digital systems across various counterparties located around the globe.

“The ‘Letter of Credit’ (LC) was issued by ING Bank for Tricon Energy USA (importer) with HSBC India as the advising and negotiating bank for Reliance Industries, India (exporter),” the statement said.


Reliance.

“This solution is a significant improvement for any organisation involved in buying and selling goods internationally, as it truly brings together all parties onto one platform.”

The statement added that the transaction validated the commercial and operational viability of blockchain as an alternative to conventional exchanges for paper-based documentation.

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“We are excited to partner with HSBC on digitalisation of trade finance. This reflects our continued commitment to embrace emerging technologies and industry-first initiatives,” Srikanth Venkatachari, Joint Chief Financial Officer, Reliance Industries, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“The use of blockchain offers significant potential to reduce the timelines involved in exchange of export documentation from the extant 7 to 10 days to less than a day. When adopted at scale, it helps in significant optimisation of working capital. Further, use of blockchain in trade finance enhances transparency, security and synergy across all the parties and stakeholders involved.” (IANS)


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NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

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The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)


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