Saudi Aramco Goes Blockchain by Investing $5 Million in Vakt

UTC by Janis Rijnieks · 3 min read
Saudi Aramco Goes Blockchain by Investing $5 Million in Vakt
Photo: Vakt Global / Twitter

In recent news, Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) made a $5 million investment into a blockchain-based oil trading company Vakt.

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures invested $5 million into Vakt shares, and its trading subsidiary Aramco Trading Company will start using the Vakt platform, according to a press release.

That way, Saudi Aramco joins the current Vakt shareholder base of 12 investors. Among them are some of the world’s largest energy and commodity trading players. This investment will help Vakt in platform development and possibly expand to new markets in Asia.

This is particularly big for Vakt. Mostly because such a huge player like Aramco Trading is joining their platform. The Vakt platform is currently live in the North Sea BFOET crude oil market. The company looks to bring its own North Sea trading volumes, adding it to their already high market share. They say they are ready for expansion into new markets.

“It is a proud moment to be able to count SAEV as one of our shareholders. This company – part of the most profitable business in the world – has a strong track record of investing in industry innovation,” commented Vakt CFO Richard James.

He adds that they weren’t actively looking for an investor. However, when there was a chance to work with “a partner of this calibre” they just couldn’t miss it. He said that it is a tremendous show of faith in Vakt’s current development and future vision.

With Saudi Aramco, Vakt Could Become the Backbone of Post-trade Processing

Vakt’s CEO Etienne Amic believes that The North Sea is just the beginning for them. In a few short months, they have learned a great deal from having the platform in production and iterating their product to make it better suited for global waterborne oil.

“We are now on a path to becoming the backbone of the post-trade processing of physical commodities. We couldn’t ask for a better partner ahead of our future expansion than Saudi Aramco – especially when it comes to the company’s reach and expertise in Asia,” she added.

The Vakt platform has a focus on post-trade processing for physical energy transactions. Basically, they eliminate paper-based processes and manual accounting practices. Vakt says that blockchain provides a “single source of truth” for both – buyers and sellers. And all that data sits on an immutable and distributed ledger.

“VAKT has demonstrated that their platform has the potential to digitize what is currently a very manual process,” commented Hans Middelthon, the managing director of SAEV Europe.

Coinspeaker previously reported that in November 2018 the first blockchain-based platform for finalizing crude oil deals went live in London. Vakt Global was developing it, which is a consortium venture set up by oil majors BP (BP.L) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS), Norway’s Equinor, global energy trading firms Mercuria Energy Group and Koch Supply and Trading, as well as Gunvor.

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Janis Rijnieks

Janis is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and a bitcoin adherent. He has a background in video production, but for the past couple of years, he is a full-time crypto researcher and writer. He has a good understanding of multiple cryptocurrencies and loves to cover daily news. He considers himself a semi-bitcoin maximalist but always is open to any kind of new ideas that could be put on the blockchain. In his free time, he likes skateboarding and cars.

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