The People's Bank of China (PBoC) has secured 32.35 million yuan (~$4.7 million) in special funding for further developing its blockchain trade finance platform.
The funding, to be injected over three years, is expected to improve the platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access a broader range of financing tools, the Global Times reported Monday, citing Xinhua News Agency.
Over 35 banks are currently part of the blockchain trade finance platform, which has helped process 87 billion yuan (~$12.4 billion) worth of transactions as of December 2019.
The platform is also said to have significantly improved the efficiency of SME loan approvals. The time required to process trade financing has reduced from over ten days to about 20 minutes, while corporate financing costs have declined to below 6%, per the report.
Launched in September 2018, the blockchain platform is overseen by the PBoC's Digital Currency Research Lab, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, major Chinese universities such as Tsinghua University, and local banks.
Last November, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority also signed an agreement with China's central bank to connect its blockchain-based trade finance platform eTradeConnect with that of the central bank, to expand its trade finance business.