Bitcoin

Bitcoin Daily: HSBC Issues First Yuan-Based Letter Of Credit; Sierra Leone Gov’t To Launch Blockchain ID System

HSBC has issued its first yuan blockchain-based letter of credit transaction, Reuters reported.

The move is significant progress in the use of the Voltron trade finance platform, which was developed by eight banks, including HSBC, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered.

While the platform has predominately been used in individual pilot cases, Ajay Sharma, HSBC’s regional head of global trade and receivables finance for Asia-Pacific, said it is getting closer to full proposition.

“We are hoping that we will have something by end of the year, maybe the first quarter of next year, where will we know from Voltron what it costs, at which point, a lot of banks who might be sitting on the sidelines will be able to make a decision,” he said. “Clearly we are hoping that through this technology, the unit cost of doing a transaction comes down, along with other benefits, such as speed.”

In other news, the Sierra Leone government will fully adopt a blockchain-enabled national identity system by the end of this year.

According to a report in NFCW, Julius Maada Bio, the country’s president said the project — called the National Digital Identity Platform (NDIP) — will allow financial institutions to verify identities and build credit histories.

NDIP, a collaboration between the United Nations and San Francisco-based nonprofit Kiva, is being rolled out in two phases. The first step is focused on digitizing identities, while the second will create non-duplicating, non-reusable and universally recognized National Identification Numbers. The first phase is complete, while the latter phase is expected to be finished by the end of this year.

Maada Bio explained that the blockchain-enabled access to credit and financial services will help make Sierra Leone’s people more financially resilient, and he added that the new national ID system “directly translates into citizens having improved access to affordable credit to invest in entrepreneurial endeavors.”

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