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New blockchain platform for trade finance

A new blockchain-based trade finance platform, developed by HSBC, Standard Chartered and 10 other banks, has been launched in Hong Kong to boost efficiency in the multi-trillion-dollar funding of international trade. HSBC said the platform, eTrade Connect, had allowed it to reduce the time it takes to approve trade loan applications to 4 hours, compared with the usual one-and-a-half days. The other banks, which are partners in the development of the platform, facilitated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, included Agricultural Bank of China and BNP Paribas. Trade finance transactions were worth over $9 trillion in 2017, but the industry is heavily paper-based, and follows processes and procedures that have changed little in decades, or even centuries. The e-Trade platform aims to improve efficiency and facilitate counterparties’ ability to obtain finance by digitizing trade documents and automating trade finance processes by leveraging the blockchain technology.

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