Bank of China Launches Blockchain Research Initiative to Improve Monitoring

Liu Qiuwan, the Chief Information Officer at Bank of China (one of China’s four largest banks) has announced a plan to spend more on technological research, including research on blockchain. Qiuwan’s announcement came at a press conference earlier this week.

The bank is also interested in funding research on cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence. Local news source The Paper reported that the bank plans to spend more than 1 percent of its annual income on the research.

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Bank of China May Use Blockchain to Improve Real-Time Monitoring Systems

The bank’s ultimate goal is to improve its real-time monitoring systems that are in place to manage financial risks. Qiuwan said that blockchain has already been applied in 12 of the bank’s pilot projects, including “data sharing, cross-border payment, digital currency, digital bills.”

“Bank of China has 11 patent applications for blockchain, ranking 20th in the global business and ranking first in the domestic banking industry,” he added.

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Bank of China’s Hong Kong branch has also been exploring blockchain applications. Cryptovest reported in April that 85 percent of the bank’s real estate valuations utilized blockchain.

While the Chinese government has strictly regulate the use of cryptocurrency within the country, the government has expressed support for blockchain technology.

Chinese Government is Bullish on Blockchain, Bearish on Crypto

“In terms of blockchain technology, China is quite open and welcomes [discussions regarding the blockchain industry],” said Desmond Marshall, head of The Floor Hong Kong, in an exclusive interview with Finance Magnates. “But, of course, if we’re talking about cryptocurrencies or ICOs, that’s a definite no-no.”

Still, “for any young entrepreneurs or young companies who are thinking ‘okay, should I do this or not?’ I would strongly suggest you look into this,” he said.

Hackernoon reported in May that a number of major firms in China have “committed to the the development and adoption of blockchain technology into their operations,” including Alibaba. Out of the 406 international blockchain-related applications that had been filed in China in 2017, 200 came from China.