ICBC Outlines Recommendations for Spurring Blockchain Development in Chinese Finance

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China and the world’s largest bank in terms of assets has outlined a slew of proposals for expediting the development of blockchain applications in the Chinese financial sector.

Speaking at the Fintech 50 Forum in Beijing on 24 November, Lv Zhongtao (吕仲涛), chief information officer of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), made the following recommendations for driving blockchain development in the financial sector:

  1. Top-Level design by the relevant authorities of the state; the strengthening of overall management, planning and deployment of innovation in blockchain technology applications; coordination of joint participation by financial institutions in the development of a blockchain-based applications system.
  2. The inclusion of relevant data within a scope of common sharing and lawful usage under the precondition of the protection of user privacy rights, in order to remove institutional data barriers.
  3. Creation of data standards, achieving interconnections between financial institutions, joint sharing of data and operational coordination.
  4. The gradual improvement to the standards system for the application of blockchain technical to digital finance.
  5. Organised undertaking of research and application of blockchain technology in the field of finance; encouraging financial institutions to participate in the testing and verification of blockchain products, technologies and projects.
  6. Strengthening coordinated cooperation across industries and research and application cooperation between industry and academia. Scientific research institutions should actively provide the results of their blockchain research and comprehensively drive blockchain R&D and application in the field of digital finance.

Lv highlighted the current application of blockchain technology to areas such as supply chain finance and trade finance, pointing in particular to use of distributed ledgers for the development of the “ICBC eXin” (工银e信) platform for the digitisation of credit documentation.

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