Yesterday, Sina Finance reported that the China Construction Bank (CCB) has officially released the second version of its blockchain platform for trade finance. Now known as the “BCTrade2.0 Blockchain Trade Finance Platform”, it digitizes commodities trade and financial services between over 50 CCB branches and 40 external organizations.
The CCB’s project has been in the works for some time. In 2017, the bank claimed to be the first to use blockchain for domestic letters of credit, forfeiting, and international factoring. That year, it had managed 1.6 billion yuan ($106 million) and 20 participants.
As we reported in March, the CCB announced that its then-unnamed blockchain had transacted 200 billion yuan ($30 billion) in 2018 and boasted nearly 40 domestic and financial participants. According to Xinhua, the platform was initially released in April that year. Yesterday, it was officially named and the second version launched, having reached 360 billion yuan ($50 billion) in transaction volume.
It contains new features in factoring, cross-chain connectivity, and improvements in efficiency thanks to a partnership with CCB Financial Technology. In a speech, the Vice President of the CCB, Ji Zhihong, said that the “distributed storage, transaction traceability, and non-tamperability” characteristics of blockchain are highly compatible with trade finance.
He added that the bank will actively promote the platform and invite more industry peers to join. The current participants include state-owned banks, commercial banks, financial institutions, and trading companies.
The CCB’s platform is just one of many blockchain trade finance initiatives in China. Last month, a collaborative project between banks including CITIC and the Bank of China announced it had processed 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) with its forfeiting blockchain.
The central bank run ‘Bay Area Trade Finance Blockchain Platform’ reached 30 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) earlier this year. Other projects include Zheshang Bank’s accounts receivable blockchain and Ping An’s trade finance platform for small to medium-sized banks.