Container ship outside Hong Kong

Blockchain and trade finance have always seemed like natural partners, and a company based in India is taking another stab at cracking the code.

Persistence has built the back-end infrastructure for a trade finance system that will allow small and medium-sized buyers to more easily find financing for commodities purchased from sellers, traveling between the main trade hubs of Asia, places like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, among others.

The startup closed a $3.7 million token round led by Arrington XRP, along with Alameda Research and South Korean stablecoin company Terra, among others. The backers are purchasing the Persistence token, or XPRT, which is set to be released sometime late this year or early next year, once macroeconomic conditions appear to be stabilized, said Persistence CEO Tushar Aggarwal.

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“Commodity trading is a notoriously difficult industry to penetrate,” Aggarwal told CoinDesk in an interview, noting that other firms like Perlin and Centrifuge have already entered this space.

Persistence’s advantage, Aggarwal said, lies less in its technology than in its business-development strategy.

To build an application that would appeal to companies outside of the blockchain industry, Persistence settled on Tendermint as its base layer, after investigating both Ethereum and Waves.

“A big focus of ours is the institutional folks. On the institutional side we tried to abstract away some of the complexity,” Aggarwal said.

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The specific trade finance platform was built as a separate application atop Persistence, called Comdex. That platform was turned over to a third party that already has access to the trade finance industry. Invoices get turned into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that can then be collateralized to back