The state-owned China Construction Bank (CCB) is preparing to become the first Chinese bank to issue bonds using blockchain technology.
The bank has partnered with Hong Kong’s Fusang Exchange to launch the sale of $3 billion worth of debt represented by blockchain tokens.
Such bonds are usually only available to professional investors. However, pundits claim that blockchain reduces the overall costs, extending access to retail market participants too. Thanks to its partnership with Fusang, investors will now be able to trade the US dollar-denominated bonds for bitcoin.
China Construction Bank’s Certificate of Deposit Tokens on Sale for Bitcoin
China Construction Bank will issue $3 billion worth of debt as blockchain-based tokens. The offshore bond will be backed by deposits at CCB’s Labuan, Malaysia branch, and issued over a period of three months.
At maturity, the investment will provide an annual return of around 0.75%. That’s small by cryptocurrency industry standards, however, the figure is greater than the 0.25% interest rate on offer by most banks.
Fusang’s involvement allows the CCB digital bonds to trade for both US dollars and bitcoin. According to the South China Morning Post, the investment vehicle will go live
Henry Chong, the CEO of Fusang, commented that the use of blockchain technology allowed retail investors access to investments previously reserved for institutional market participants. Indeed, the certificate of deposit notes start at just $100 each.
At launch, the CCB will make $58 million worth of the $3 billion total in debt available to investors. If the launch is a success, Chong says Fusang will work with the CCB to make the bonds available in other currencies too.
China Continues to Embrace Fintech
The launch of a blockchain-based security by a state-owned bank is just part of a wider Chinese push to embrace financial technology. In fact, the nation has long been a leader in digital payments with platforms like AliPay and WeChat Pay seeing massive adoption.
As part of the push, Chinese President Xi Jinping
announced his intent for the nation to become a world leader in blockchain development last year. As News reported, more than 10,000 blockchain companies had been created in China in 2020 by August.
China has also pushed the development of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) hard with the launch of several testing phases. News recently explored the international reactions and concerns regarding the development of the digital yuan.