The Chinese central bank is touting the success of its blockchain-driven trade finance platform and its ability to help small-and-medium enterprises to secure funds.
As of mid-January 2020 the Central Bank Trade Finance Blockchain Platform (央行贸易金融区块链平台) had hosted over 8000 operations for 1898 enterprises, with a total operations value of over 90 billion yuan, according to data from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
44 banks and 485 of their outlets are participants in the platform, which first commenced trial operation in Shenzhen in September 2018.
According to an official from PBOC’s digital research institute the launch of the platform has helped small-and-medium enterprises (SME’s to obtain loans, as well as reduced the time required to process trade financing applications from over ten days to around 20 minutes.
The system has also reduced enterprise financing costs to just 6% or less, easing the financing difficulties of SME’s.
In November 2019 the Platform executed a memorandum of cooperation with Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited (HKICL), marking the launch of efforts to connect operations in mainland China and Hong Kong.
PBOC said that in future the Platform will connect to similar platforms in a greater number of countries and international organisations, with the goal of creating a “global trade finance highway.”
“Trade finance requires the sharing of information between multiple parties to transactions, and transaction frequencies aren’t high,” said Di Gang, vice-head of PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute. “This is a natural fit for blockchain technology.”