Hong Kong Official Touts Blockchain for China's 'Belt and Road' Plan

A senior official for the government of Hong Kong has said blockchain could bolster China’s ongoing efforts to significantly expand its trade capabilities.

According to Chinese news service Caixin, James Lau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, touted the technology during a forum appearance on Friday. Lau said that blockchain would bring “great benefits” to nations participating in President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” initiative, citing a forthcoming trade finance platform to be built on the tech.

It was only several weeks ago that Hong Kong unveiled a new partnership with Singapore that will see the development of a new platform also utilizing blockchain. The goal of that initiative is to shift away from a largely paper-based process to one that moves the trade finance industry “into the digital era,” officials said at the time.

That blockchain might find its way to being used in conjunction with the Belt and Road project is notable, given the its scale and reach. The project, unveiled in 2013, aims to connect regions across the South Pacific, Africa, Northern Europe and Russia, encompassing dozens of countries.

Also focusing on blockchain, Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority (HKMA) completed a proof-of-concept for trade finance in March, which included the Bank of China and HSBC as participants.

Truck image via Shutterstock.

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