Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, smiles as he attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2018.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, smiles as he attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2018.REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Refining giant Reliance Industries has joined blockchain-based commodities trading platform Vakt, which became operational last year.

Oil majors such as Chevron and Total have also joined London-based Vakt, one of the early blockchain pilot schemes for commodities trading, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The blockchain platform is thought to be the answer for multiple trading issues. It will ease complex trade and settlement processes, improve transparency and reduce risks. Blockchain is the platform that powers crypto currencies such as Bitcoin.

"Total has been supporting industry initiatives to digitize cargo post-trade processes for some time," Total said in a statement. "We view them as a major step forward towards safer, faster and cheaper logistical operations. We are committed to contribute to the roll out to various markets of the VAKT blockchain platform," the statement added.

The Hindu had reported last year that Reliance Industries was in discussions to acquire 5 percent equity stake in Vakt. The investment was seen as another step in Reliance's digital journey.

What is Vakt?

The blockchain platform was created in 2017 by a consortium comprising oil giants such as Royal Dutch Shell and Norway's Equinor.

The creators say Vakt will eliminate paper-based processes, enhance efficiency and create new trade finance opportunities. ‚Äč

"VAKT is driven by nine leading energy companies and banks who have committed to embracing blockchain technology, working together to develop an industry-wide solution to age-old problems we all experience every day," reads a statement on the company's website.

"We've been overwhelmed by the strength of response to the VAKT concept. Launching into our first market with such high-calibre first users is a transformational moment for us and the industry. But it's just the start: success for a blockchain solution depends on widespread adoption and we're looking forward to seeing the ecosystem grow," Interim CEO John Jimenez said during the launch of the project in November.