Blockchain is a web-based transaction-processing and settlement system whose efficiency banks say could slash costs. It creates a "golden record" of any given set of data that is automatically replicated for all parties in a secure network, eliminating any need for third-party verification. Led by a consortium of over 70 of the world's biggest financial institutions—called R3— the banking industry has been researching ways to harness the speed, accuracy and efficiency afforded by blockchain. Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter. The first cross-border transaction between banks using multiple blockchain applications took place on Monday, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Wells Fargo said, resulting in a shipment of cotton to China from the United States.