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Hong Kong Official Praises Blockchain for China’s “Belt and Road”s Plan



Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, James Lau, has lauded blockchain and its capacity to help China’s efforts to expand its trade capabilities.

Lau praised the emerging technology during a forum, saying that blockchain would bring “great benefits” to nations that are joining Chinese President, Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” initiative, citing an upcoming trade finance platform would be built based on the tech.

Blockchain operates by digitally logging in transactions in inerasable digital ledgers distributed across a network in which all data is accessible to every member of the network and transactions don’t need a central authority’s approval.

According to Lau, this innovation has the potential to cut the huge input of human resources and time that trade financing traditionally needs, lessen chances of fraud and lower companies’ investment costs through more efficient settlements,

It just several weeks ago that Hong Kong uncovered a new collaboration with Singapore that would develop a new platform that also uses blockchain. The aim of that endeavor is to veer away from a largely paper-based process to one that moves the trade finance industry “into the digital era,” officials remarked.

That blockchain might eventually find its way to being used in conjunction with the Belt and Road project is significant, given the its wide scale and tremendous reach. The project, which was announced in 2013, seeks to connect regions across the South Pacific, Africa, Northern Europe and Russia, encompassing dozens of countries.

The Belt and Road initiative was launched by President Xi Jinping and now comprises 69 countries, regions, and international organizations. In September, it was reported that the Special Administrative Region’s monetary authority was planning to make equity investments in a number of Belt and Road infrastructure projects.

Trade along the Belt and Road is mostly conducted by small and medium-sized organizations, so blockchain’s distributed ledger technology could help by taking out the need for a central organization and middlemen, Lau added.

A Belt and Road scheme would not be Hong Kong’s first venture into blockchain-powered trade finance. Back in March, the region’s monetary authority finished a proof-of-concept project that showed how blockchain could be used to digitize contracts and cut the risk of fraud and duplicate transactions.


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