Hong Kong is looking into building a trade-financing system using blockchain technology, a senior official said. Blockchain, the decentralized encryption technology behind cryptocurrencies, could provide “great benefits” to trade finance in countries participating in China’s Belt and Road initiative, said James Henry Lau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, at a forum Friday.
Blockchain works by automatically recording transactions in inerasable digital ledgers distributed across a network in which all data is visible to every member of the network and transactions don’t require a central authority’s approval. This technology could cut the huge input of human resources and time that trade financing traditionally requires, reduce chances of fraud and lower companies’ investment costs through more efficient settlements, according to Lau.
Trade along the Belt and Road is mostly conducted by small and medium-sized enterprises, so blockchain’s distributed ledger technology could help by cutting out the need for a central organization and middlemen.
In March, Hong Kong completed a proof-of-concept project that demonstrated how blockchain can be used to digitize contracts and cut the risk of fraud and duplicate transactions.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.