Chinese financial services firm Ping An Bank and a subsidiary of QQ instant message app maker Tencent are among more than 30 technology and financial firms in China that have formed a new consortium dedicated to blockchain tech.
The Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium was officially launched on 31st May during an event in Shenzhen, a development that marks the latest business alliance to collectively explore applications of the technology. Ping An itself is a member of the R3-led consortium of global financial institutions, and in the past year and a half, working organizations have formed around securities settlement and capital markets use cases.
In addition to Ping An and the Tencent subsidiary, the 31-member strong group features a wide spectrum of finance and tech firms. Areas of focus among its membership include capital markets technology, securities exchange, trading platforms, life insurance and banking - all of which have been identified as potential areas for applying blockchain tech.
Its members say the group has several mandates. Beyond providing a forum for communication and information-sharing, participating companies will collaborate on research and the creation of group-wide blockchain projects focused on finance use cases.
Specific plans are said to include the development of a prototype for a securities trade platform and exploration of services for offering credit, digital asset registry and invoice management.
Ping An group chief innovation officer Daniel Tu positioned his company's participation through the lens of financial innovation.
Tu told CoinDesk:
"We wish to take advantage of this opportunity to collaborate with local financial and Internet companies and contribute to the exploration of blockchain in China."
The May meeting reportedly focused on electing officers to lead the consortium as well as laying out the basis for its structure, which will include joint task forces focused on various areas of research and proof-of-concept development.
More recent moves, including an expansion into China by payments startup Circle and the pending acquisition of bitcoin mining chip seller Canaan (known more commonly known as Avalon) by a Shenzhen-based electronics firm, suggest that the country is likely to see more growth on the bitcoin and blockchain front in the months ahead.
Images via Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium