At least 12 of China’s 26 publicly listed banks launched blockchain-related initiatives in 2017 for a range of applications, according to disclosure contained in their latest annual filings.
A report from CEBNet said that the 12 institutions include big state-owned banks such as Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank, as well as commercial banks and municipal banks such as China Merchants Bank.
China’s listed banks are using blockchain technology for everything from ID verification procedures to invoice issuance and cross-border credit extension.
Bank of China plans to launch a blockchain-based digital wallet, while Agricultural Bank fo China is using the technology to provide unsecured loans to agricultural e-commerce merchants.
China Construction Bank has also launched a platform that uses blockchains to facilitate cross-bank and cross-border loans for small-scale enterprises, and has already used it to process transactions worth as much as 1.6 billion yuan (approx. USD$251 million).
While China’s banking and financial regulators launched a heavy-handed crackdown on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency transactions last year, they have consistently emphasised the importance of using blockchain technology for a range of other applications.