Hong Kong and Singapore to link up trade finance Blockchain platforms

Hong Kong and Singapore’s de facto central banks unveiled plans on Wednesday to link trade finance platforms they are developing with blockchain technology, to reduce potential fraud and errors in the multi-trillion-dollar funding of international trade.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) together with banks including HSBC Holdings PLC and Standard Chartered PLC tested late in 2016 the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), also known as blockchain, to build a trade finance platform. Singapore is also developing a platform.

Linking the two is part of a broader plan between HKMA and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to collaborate in blockchain and other financial technology (fintech) projects, the pair said in a joint statement.

“This interface is likely to be the first of its kind in the world in the application of DLT in solving the century-old problem arising from the inefficiency of the paper-based trade finance system,” HKMA head Norman Chan said at a fintech conference.

The move also comes as banks including HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and government agencies such as the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore look to use technology to make trade finance more efficient and reduce the risk of fraud in letters of credit (LOC) and other transactions.

Letters of credit are one of the most widely used ways of reducing risk between importers and exporters, helping guarantee more than $2 trillion worth of transactions, but the process creates a long paper trail and is time-consuming.

Chan said Hong Kong’s project can digitize trade documents, automate processes, allow sharing of required documentation among authorized participants, and reduce human errors and the risk of fraud.

The HKMA and consortium of banks are now in the process of hiring a developer to create and commercialize their platform, Chan said.

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Digital Asset Announces Series B Funding and Appoints Clyde Rodriguez to Executive Team

Digital Asset Announces Series B Funding and Appoints Clyde Rodriguez to Executive Team.
Latest funding takes total to over $110 million and positions Digital Asset for further expansion.

Digital Asset, the leading provider of Distributed Ledger Technology for the financial services industry, today announced that it has raised over $40 million of Series B financing from existing and new investors, led by Jefferson River Capital. The latest round brings the total funding raised by Digital Asset to over $110 million as the company expands its global presence. Additionally, the firm has bolstered its executive team with Clyde Rodriguez, former Co-CTO of Two Sigma Investments, joining as Chief Information Officer & CTO of Engineering.

“Distributed Ledger Technology has the potential to bring greater transparency, security and efficiency to financial services and beyond. We are in the early stages of an important technological transformation that requires strong engineering discipline to deliver credible and practical solutions,” Rodriguez said. “I am excited to join a world-class team that has the necessary skill and focus required to accelerate these important innovations, while helping our customers embrace the benefits of DLT.”

Rodriguez will join Digital Asset’s Executive Committee, reporting to CEO, Blythe Masters. He brings more than 20 years of enterprise software and cloud development experience. Rodriguez was an early member of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud organization, having formed and led the Azure Cloud Networking group as General Manager. Previously, he led the Microsoft Windows Division in creating and delivering the company’s first 64-bit Windows Client and Server x64 Edition operating systems.

“Clyde is a respected technology executive with a strong track record of leading engineering teams to develop mission-critical enterprise software that supports hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. The addition of Clyde and the closing of our Series B financing position Digital Asset to capitalize on the enormous opportunities we see,” Masters said.

Digital Asset combines unparalleled financial markets leadership with world-class technologists across multiple fields in one of the fastest growing fintech companies in the world. The Digital Asset Platform is the only Distributed Ledger platform to have been developed according to the production requirements of the world’s largest financial infrastructures.

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