Members of the central banks of Singapore and Hong Kong have revealed that a number of banks have now joined their recently announced blockchain-based trade network.
Expected to launch by early 2019, the new network will now involve participation from over 20 global banks and financial institutions, a Business Times report says. The announcement of the new members of the project was made during the Singapore Fintech Festival on Thursday.
The proof-of-concept - called the Hong Kong Trade Finance Platform (HKTFP) - is a collaboration between the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), aimed to digitize trade finance using distributed ledger technology (DLT).
According to the officials from the two monetary authorities, the DLT pilot - which is described as a "global trade connectivity network" (GTCN) - is expected to set "new global standards" for the industry and aims to trace global trade flows between Singapore and Hong Kong.
Li Shu-Pui, executive director of the HKMA said that there have been concerns from bankers regarding data and transaction privacy. As a result, regulators should consider regulations around DLT, he said, since it is a new form of innovation in the "mission-critical" trade finance space.
Li indicated that he also expects European financial institutions to get involved in the project as it progresses.
Singapore image via Shutterstock