Business 15 March 2019

Dennis Wafula

French court clerks to use blockchain based platform for operations

Commercial court clerks in France will soon start recording changes relating to companies’ legal status using a blockchain based platform.

According to the official announcement made on March 14, court clerks will start using a blockchain-based platform aimed to increase transparency and efficiency in legal transactions that are related to the lifecycle of companies in the registry.

Reportedly, IBM and the National Council of Clerks (NCC) jointly developed the blockchain network. The blockchain platform is created on the Hyperledger Fabric framework, an open source project from Linux Foundation.

According to the post, the platform will be used to record and share data related to the exchanges of regulatory information about companies’ difficulties and the changes of status of the company registered on the French territory. This could include a change of corporate names, change of court office in which a company is registered, dissolution of the business, and more.

The network will reportedly also allow the sharing of a single version of the truth across the court clerks and ensure traceability of notifications related to legal changes. Through the platform, there will be increasing transparency that can improve interactions between court clerks.

Sophie Jonval, the President at the NCC, explained that this network would help strengthen the position of the French Commercial and Corporate Registry in the European Union. She added:

“This project, is the continuation of our efforts to be pioneers in the adoption of innovative technologies, to strengthen the quality of the public service provided by the commercial justice system, dedicated to the expectations and requirements of today’s multipolar and interconnected economic world.”

During the pilot stage, NCC managed to shorten the period required to update the registry. Initially, it took several days but reportedly, the process can be done within a day.

While speaking the matter, the Senior Manager Blockchain at IBM France, Vincent Fournier stated:

“Blockchain’s qualities are ideal for this use, improving the Clerks’ business processes and adapting to the ever-changing nature of their missions.”

The beta test, which involved four court clerks and IT providers, was successful. There are already plans set in place to move the project into full-scale production in the first half of 2019.

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