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Chinese Forex Regulator’s Blockchain Platform Helped Firms Borrow $8.2 Billion in Eight Months

Chinese regulator State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has helped firms borrow over $8.2 billion via its blockchain cross-border financing system.

The platform set up by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange has helped corporations, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), secure USD8.2 billion in funding during the first eight months of service, local Economic Information Daily reported.

Since its launch this March, the platform has expanded its blockchain cross-border financing pilot program to cover 17 provinces from the initially 7 provinces, with over 160 banks having joined the program.

As of November 20, nearly 1,600 companies, some 70 percent of which are SMEs, have joined the program to share their bookkeeping information with more than 160 banks. That is about one-third of all Chinese lenders that provide forex services.

The SAFE will advance the use of the platform in new ways such as to ease cross-border trade settlement and settlement of foreign exchange receipts under the capital account, said Zhang Xin, deputy director of the SAFE.

“The traditional financial processes, which require a lot of human labor to carry out information verification and authorization, leave a lot of room for financial fraud,” said Cao Yin, an analyst in the blockchain sector, “but as the blockchain system promises a decentralized and encrypted track of each capital flow, it leaves potentially little to no space for human mediation.”

Apart from the trust mechanism, the platform has reduced processing time and provided real-time supervision for transactions. According to Zhang, the processing time for transactions has been reduced to 15 minutes from one to two days.

It is noted that the SAFE’s cross-border blockchain platform is currently the only state-level organ that has filed a blockchain record with the Cyberspace Administration of China. The platform is set to be one of the two most influential blockchain projects in China’s financial sector alongside the Greater Bay Area’s trade finance blockchain platform launched by the country’s central bank.

Following the country’s president Xi Jinping’s blockchain endorsement, enterprises and government authorities have been accelerating the use of blockchain technology. Earlier this month, the country has published a blockchain-based smart city identification system.

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