The Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the world’s fourth-largest bank by assets, has issued its first loan on blockchain, local news outlet Financial News reported July 31.
State-owned ABC, which counts itself among China’s “Big Four” lenders, revealed it had issued a loan worth around $300,000 backed by a piece of agricultural land in the Guizhou province.
According to Financial News, the bank will “buil[d] blocks with local people, pilot land and resources bureaus, and agriculture and animal husbandry bureaus,” through the blockchain system, adding that the loan aimed to “support the local tea industry.”
The blockchain project received participation from third parties, including the provincial branch of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), acting as nodes to keep tabs on the validity of loan data.
In the future, the bank says, other types of loans will come under the auspices of blockchain, the decentralized ledger technology allowing ABC to prevent the issue of clients applying for loans at different banks using the same piece of land as collateral.
China continues to adopt blockchain technology with considerable speed, with the government keen to deploy industry-wide standards next year.
In July, China’s joint technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) announced they would lead an international research group on the standardization of the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology.