China sees more banks using blockchain platform: central bank

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China saw more banks using the official blockchain platform for trade and finance as the country increased efforts to research and promote this frontier technology, said the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank on Feb. 21.

As of Dec. 17, 2019, a total of 38 banks participated in the platform, generating a combined business volume of 87 billion yuan (about 12.4 billion U.S. dollars), according to an article published by a PBOC-affiliated institute dedicated to the research of digital currency.

The Shenzhen-based blockchain platform, developed by the central bank and launched in September 2018, provided services including multi-stage accounts receivable financing, a fast track for rediscounts and supervision over foreign trade payments.

Starting in 2014, the PBOC has beefed up efforts to strengthen the study of blockchain and explore its application in transaction settlements as well as trade and finance, with its patents in the area ranking first among all central banks in the world.

China listed blockchain as a strategic frontier technology in a national industry plan in 2016, and the industry and information technology ministry released an action plan to encourage research and exploration in the area in 2018.

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