Nearly Half of China’s Public Banks Have Adopted Blockchain Technology Last Year

Conor Maloney
  • 12 of China's 26 publicly listed banks claim to have embraced blockchain technology in 2017.
  • China's banking regulator recently came out in favor of blockchain technology
  • Chinese banks have also been researching and patenting ways to scale blockchain systems and handle storage issues

12 of China's 26 public banks deployedand used blockchain-based applications for different use cases last year. Bank of China, China Construction Bank and the Agriculture Bank of China are among the major financial institutions exploring the technology, with many privately held banks like China Merchants Bank following suit.

The Chinese authority, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) voiced approval earlier this year for blockchain technology as a financial instrument, pushing for blockchain adoption in the credit market, stating:

"Integrating this technology to our financial service platforms should be part of the future strategy"

CBRC

Blockchain is now being used for invoicing, identification, and cross-border loaning in China. China Construction Bank has deployed a blockchain platform for issuing loans that has already processed $251 million worth of transactions since launching. Loan issuance seems to be a major use case, with Agriculture Bank of China also deploying a decentralized network automating the process of issuing unsecured loans to agriculture e-commerce merchants.

Another use case is fraud prevention. Fake trade finance deals are a major issue in China with 86 percent of Chinese companies reporting cases of fraud in 2016, 4 percent above the global average. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has called on "every level of government" to encourage the development and adoption of blockchain solutions to increase accountability and help reduce fraud nationwide.

People's Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank and top regulator, has also expressed interest, with PBoC Vice Governor Zhou Xiaochuan telling Chinese media that the bank had spent "considerable resources" researching blockchain solutions so far.

Another major public bank called Bank of China has filed patents on scaling solutions that may help solve data storage issues on a blockchain, a primary obstacle in the mainstream financial adoption of blockchain technology. Bank of China and other Chinese banks are researching the technology to find solutions and improve upon the existing system as the adoption continues in the second-largest economy and the largest country in the world.