HK regulator announces blockchain collaboration with subsidiary of Institute of Digital Currency of PBoC

Maria Nikolova

HKMA announces a partnership between the subsidiaries of Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited and Institute of Digital Currency of the PBoC.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today announces that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the subsidiaries of Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited and Institute of Digital Currency of People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to conduct a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) trial.

The trial aims to connect blockchain-based trade finance platform eTradeConnect and the PBoC Trade Finance Platform. The PoC is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020.

Once the connection has successfully been established, it will provide firms in both places with more convenient trade finance services and enable banks in Hong Kong to expedite the expansion of their trade finance business.

Let’s recall that, HKMA announced the official launch of eTradeConnect in October 2018. Formerly known as the Hong Kong Trade Finance Platform, eTradeConnect aims to improve trade efficiency, build better trust among trade participants, reduce risks and facilitate trade counterparties to obtain financing by digitising trade documents, automating trade finance processes and leveraging the features of blockchain technology.

The commercialisation of the trade finance project was first announced in October 2017 arising from the results of an earlier proof-of-concept (PoC) trial facilitated by the HKMA. The project was initially led by seven major banks and later joined by five additional banks, adding up to a consortium of twelve member banks.

The list of seven major banks includes: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, The Bank of East Asia Limited, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, Hang Seng Bank Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

The five additional banks include: Agricultural Bank of China Limited, Bank of Communications Co Ltd, BNP Paribas, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Ltd and Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd.

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