Blockchain technology continues to find many use cases it can support. From financial records to supply chain, more organisations are beginning to realise the potential of blockchain. In Malaysia, cryptocurrency company Luno has finally been given the green light by the government to operate after new regulatory issues were introduced. Singapore and Thailand are also looking to allow cryptocurrency operations in the near future, showing the impact and influence of blockchain in the digital economy.
News on crypto and blockchain technology is coming in abundance from China. This became especially true in late October 2019, when the Chinese President Xi Jinping called for accelerating the use of blockchain technology in the country. China launched a blockchain-based smart city identification system to support the interaction between infrastructure, data and cities. The system was put in motion by the China Center for Urban Development, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the Zhongguancun Industrial and Information Research Institute for Two-Dimensional Code Technology.
More recently, India is drafting an approach paper on the National Level Blockchain Framework which discusses the potential for distributed ledger technology and the need for a shared infrastructure for different use cases.
In the food industry, Blockchain will facilitate US$31 billion in “food fraud savings” by the year 2024, according to new data from Juniper Research.
According to the research, which was released earlier this week and reported on CNBC, blockchain, along with “internet of things” trackers and sensors, would help to drive down costs for retailers. This would be achieved through the streamlining of supply chains, efficient food recall processes and “simpler regulatory compliance.”
For the banking industry, according to a report by Reuters, HSBC aims to shift US$ 20 billion worth of assets to a new blockchain-based custody platform by March. This is seen as one of the biggest deployments yet on blockchain technology by a global bank.
The platform, known as Digital Vault, will give investors real-time access to records of securities bought on private markets. , HSBC seeks to capitalize on booming interest in such investments by yield-hungry investors.
Banks and other financial firms have invested billions of dollars into finding uses for blockchain, a digital ledger that can be instantly and transparently updated. Few, however, have come up with practical or widely-used applications.
Proponents say the blockchain will upend the financial sector by cutting out costly processes or the need for middlemen - though there have been few solid examples yet of such revolutionary use.
The HSBC platform will digitise paper-based records of private placements, using blockchain to reduce the time it takes investors to make checks or queries on holdings.
Records of so-called private placements are typically held on paper and lack standardisation, making access tricky and time-consuming. HSBC currently looks after up to $50 billion worth of the assets, it said.
It is not yet clear, though, how transformational the project could become. HSBC could not quantify the amount that could be saved for the bank or its clients by the platform.
Demand for private placements of both debt and equity has grown significantly in recent years, as investors search for higher returns amid low interest rates worldwide and technology firms, in particular, shun the scrutiny of public markets.