Kasikornbank , a prominent bank in Thailand has partnered technology giant IBM’s Thai arm to develop a blockchain platform that aims to cut costs and increase transaction efficiency in the banking industry.
More specifically, the collaboration will see blockchain technology used to certify original documents, equipped with storage and retrieval service systems.
An excerpt from a press release adds:
This new service will focus on accuracy under a common standard, risk mitigation, swift verification and security enhancement.
The collaborative effort could also see participation from other Thai banks on the same ledger. If such an endeavor comes to fruition, the wider banking industry in Thailand could potentially be connected on one common ledger.
IBM’s open-source Hyperledger project will provide the infrastructure for the effort. The blockchain will be developed in IBM’s Bluemix Garage in Singapore, one of four global locations of IBM’s Bluemix development network.
Further details reveal that an API will be used to certify LGs (letters of guarantee), resulting in automation which will effectively hasten the issuance of such letters for customers. If used by other banks, the API will enable different participants to access LGs quickly.
A typical process of LG issuance that routinely sees a bank like Kasikornbank will provide a notarization guarantee with a service layer on top of the blockchain, according to regional publication Thaipublica . From here, other participants will be able to request details of the documents including fees, bank(s) or financial institutions involved and more.
Talking up blockchain technology’s potential Prnsiree Amatayakul, managing director of IBM Thailand added:
Blockchain and cloud have the potential to play a critical role in improving business transactions. This project demonstrates considerable benefits for the financial industry and beyond.
The noteworthy effort to develop blockchain-based solutions in Thailand’s banking industry is in stark contrast to the country’s stance on bitcoin in recent years. Talk of a bitcoin ban loomed large as Thailand’s only bitcoin exchange in 2013 saw its operations suspended. Eventually, Thailand’s central bank relaxed its position on the cryptocurrency, opting for a wait-and-see approach with regulation. Eventually, the central monetary authority settled on issuing a warning about bitcoin’s usage to everyday consumers.
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