Media reports: ICBC releases blockchain whitepaper, spotlights China’s CBDC

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest lender by assets, has released a white paper on blockchain technology applications in finance, titled, “Blockchain Financial Application Development White Paper” (in Chinese), writes Cointelegraph.

The document analyzes the current pain points in the financial sector, and compares Chinese trends in blockchain development to those taking place overseas. It pointed out that finance is the most commonly explored area for blockchain-powered applications:

“There are 420 blockchain information and services providers registered in China. There are 72 firms offering blockchain-based financial services, 17% of the total, and they have registered 120 types of financial services,” according to a translation of the report.

ICBC has conducted research and explored integrating blockchains with big data, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and 5G technology since 2016. According to the report, the bank has already created an enterprise-level blockchain platform and launched services to track transactions during the pandemic. Those services are now integrated into the Red Cross Society of China’s Guangxi Branch and the Zhuhai Charity Federation. It will also be introduced to other Chinese charities in the near future.

The bank also believes that blockchain technology can help transform sectors such as supply chain finance, trade financing, fund management, payment management, payment settlement and digital assets.

There’s also discussion of China’s upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC). China has been developing a CBDC since 2014 but has only recently expedited development amid COVID-19. Development is expected to conclude this month with Chinese employees receiving CBDC as soon as next month, according to The Crypto Associate.

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