What happened: The Bank of China will be the first bank on the blockchain network for property buyers, which was jointly developed by Hong Kong-based property development firm New World Development and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI). Set to launch in April, the platform will one of the first blockchain networks developed for home buyers. It aims to replace tedious paperwork with digital authorization. For example, it will supposedly allow users to send the encrypted and digitally signed paperwork such as the provisional sale and purchase agreements or mortgage applications to selected banks.
Why it’s important: China has been accelerating the adoption of blockchain in various sectors. Blockchain has the potential to improve the cumbersome property buying process, which usually involves multiple parties including the buyers, property developers, banks and law firms, by enhancing the sharing of data and information on the network. Last August, Bank of China, one of the four biggest state-owned commercial banks in the country, partnered with payment service UnionPay to jointly explore blockchain applications for payment systems.