Aussie FinTechs head to China

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 21 March, 2017

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Australian financial technology (FinTech) companies are visiting China this week as part of an Austrade delegation, to help unlock opportunities in the burgeoning market.

Eight companies over the next three days will demonstrate their capabilities to Chinese counterparts and pitch to potential business partners in the region.

Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner for Shanghai Susan Corbisiero said the Chinese FinTech sector is booming due to the efforts of the Chinese government to reform the nation’s financial services sector, and the innovative developments of Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba’s Ant Financial, as well as search giant Baidu, internet company Tencent and e-commerce company

“Technology is rapidly changing how markets operate, and nowhere else is this more evident than in China. This mission is a rare opportunity for Australian FinTech providers to engage with leading Chinese FinTech companies that have local and global reach,” she said.

“The best way to realise the opportunities China presents is for Australian FinTech companies to visit the market and see for themselves how China has embraced technology and is driving innovation.”

In other FinTech ecosystem news, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released an information sheet on blockchain, the distributed ledger technology used by cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Financial institutions, FinTechs and financial services providers worldwide have been increasingly exploring using blockchain to replace traditional transaction methodologies, the fact sheet states.

Blockchain is designed so that a distributed ledger of records is stored a cross a network of users. This renders the ledger resilient to fraudulent alteration because any altered records can simply be compared with the records from another ledger. It uses cryptography to ensure secure storage and privacy of the ledgers.

The technology has so far been adopted in foreign exchange payments, securities settlement systems, debt issuance programs and digital identity initiatives, and the range of potential applications is expected to grow exponentially in the future.

ASIC has published the information sheet to help financial service providers evaluate whether adopting blockchain would allow them to meet their regulatory obligations.

The information sheet states that companies considering adopting the technology should consider six questions that will help the business and ASIC evaluate the blockchain-based service.

These are how blockchain will be used, what platform is being used, how the technology is using data, how the blockchain-based service is run, how blockchain works under the law and how use of blockchain technology affects others.

Image courtesy of Hector Garcia under CC

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