The Hong Kong Monetary Authority will be launching its blockchain-based trade finance platform next month, as reported by Financial Times.
The platform, designed by Ping An Group’s subsidiary OneConnect, will connect 21 banks such as Standard Chartered and HSBC, and will represent one of the largest government-led blockchain initiatives.
The central bank is expecting this blockchain innovation will save time and cut the paperwork that comes with supply-chain finance transactions. It’s main goal is to speed up the process of signing up new businesses who want to access banking services.
Blockchain will save this time and effort because it makes it quicker and easier to verify the multiple steps of the complex process.
Blockchain can enable a more quick and easier functioning system because it’s a decentralized network of computers that records transactions, making it immutable and completely transparent, and can be designed to speed up transactions significantly (see our Blockchain Explained guide to learn all about blockchain).
The time saved from this blockchain initiative is expected to be significant as it’s intended to reduce transactions from 14 days to one day.
Though the number of banks that have confirmed their involvement is not yet known, it’s expected that 21 banks will take part. These banks will be co-owners of the platform that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is developing.
This Hong Kong Monetary Authority-led initiative is not the first government-led blockchain initiative, but it’s one of the earliest ones, and it’s notable because of the scale at which it will be implemented with some of the largest banks in the world taking a stake in it.