18 April 2019
Blockchain is seen to become a mature technology in five years. Photo: Internet
Blockchain is seen to become a mature technology in five years. Photo: Internet

Blockchain tipped to revolutionize trade financing in two years

The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) is working to enhance blockchain technology, such as improving the processing capacity and transaction speed, with the aim of applying it to trade financing within two years, Duncan Wong, director of security and data sciences at ASTRI, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Blockchain is often described as one of the most promising financial technologies that is applicable to a vast range of industries.

To explain it simply, blockchain is a decentralized database with identical time-stamped copies of data held on numerous computers, fintech expert Simon Taylor said.

The technology augments security because to hack a blockchain, one has to attack hundreds of computers at the same time.

Trade financing involves huge amounts of paperwork. Through blockchain technology, the process can be digitalized to achieve substantial cost savings.

Once data is added, it’s hard to remove or change it. Thus, blockchain acts as a digital auditor and helps prevent trade financing fraud as well.

ASTRI chief executive Frank Tong said the technology could also be extended to stock clearing and remittances.

As part of its efforts to enhance the technology, ASTRI has been keeping in close contact with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Association of Banks, Wong said.

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EJ Insight writer

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