HONG KONG TO ROLL OUT A BLOCKCHAIN-POWERED TRADE FINANCE SOLUTION: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is set to roll out a blockchain-based trade finance platform next month that will link to 21 banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, according to the Financial Times. The system was designed by China-based Ping An, and aims to overhaul the $9 trillion global trade finance industry. Using blockchain for trade finance can help banks cut down on paperwork, which will make the process more time-efficient, while verifying every step of the process. Some individual banks have been working on blockchain-based trade finance solutions, but this project is one of the first government-backed ones to go live. Using blockchain for trade finance is a trend that isn’t going anywhere, with 89% of banks in Europe looking toward the technology to overhaul the process. Hence, we will see many more solutions going live in the future, and it seems likely that those backed by the government and working with many banks will be the most successful, as creating a network effect will make the solutions more useful.