The scenario we will describe involves a simple transaction: the sale of goods from one party to another. This transaction is complicated by the fact that the buyer and the seller live in different countries, so there is no common trusted intermediary to ensure that the exporter gets the money he was promised and the importer gets the goods. Such trade arrangements in today's world rely on:

  • Intermediaries that facilitate payments and physical transfer of goods
  • Processes that have evolved over time to enable exporters and importers to hedge their bets and reduce the risks involved

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