HKEx to introduce finance blockchain platform

01 Nov 2018

HKEx has announced plans to work with distributed ledger technology company Digital Asset Holdings to introduce the first blockchain platform in the financial services industry in Hong Kong.

The stock exchange operator's CEO Charles Li announced the initiative during a keynote speech for day two of Hong Kong Fintech Week 2018.

Li said the blockchain platform will initially be used to support the Stock Connect collaboration between the Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

“If it works with Stock Connect, there’s no reason why we can’t extend it to the broader market,” he said.

Also at the event, Finovate Asia 2018 concluded with the announcement of the winners of the Finovate start-up pitching contest.

The three winners were open banking solution developer Avaloq, digital fintech bank Arival Bank, and intelligent call center agent provider

Meanwhile experts from across the fintech ecosystem delivered presentations at the event. In a keynote presentation, Fintech Forge managing director JP Nicols urged financial institutions to embrace innovation and be ready to adapt or face being disrupted out of the market.

He gave an example from another industry of BlockBuster Video. Once the world's largest video rental chain, the company declared bankruptcy in 2010 after facing significant competition from Netflix.

Blockbuster won by executing best in the industry [it operated in] until they didn’t. Netflix didn’t beat them at their game, it changed the game [and won at that],” he said.

But modern agile business methods such as the ones popular in Silicon Valley are poorly suited to the financial sector due to the highly regulated nature of the market. Nichols proposed a new model for innovation in the banking sector – FIRE (fast, iterative, responsive and experimental).

Invest Hong Kong head of fintech Charles d'Haussy meanwhile gave a snapshot of the Hong Kong fintech ecosystem, which now has more than 500 fintech companies, and spoke about how fintech companies and financial institutions worldwide are leveraging Hong Kong's strength as an entry point to the Greater Bay Area.

First published in Computerworld Hong Kong

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