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The Standard Bank of South Africa is launching a blockchain with permission for foreign exchange services

South Africa’s Standard Bank will soon launch its private blockchain with permission for foreign exchange operations on behalf of corporate clients, reports FinExtra, the Fintech news outlet, on Thursday, February 28.

The platform, which is ready to start operating in the second half of 2019, is based on Hyperledger Fabric, a foundation for the development of applications or solutions for companies with a modular architecture. The South African bank also plans to connect its currency trading application, Shyft, to the blockchain platform.

It is expected that the blockchain-based system will accelerate the processing of international transactions, foreign currency payments and settlement. In addition, Standard Bank expects to increase the transparency of transactions, since all documents will be available to all parties in real time.

Richard de Roos, chief currency officer at Standard Bank, says that the solution to the block chain is likely to reduce the incidence of trade failures, while increasing regulatory transparency and improving liquidity visibility.

Initially, the solution will be used by Standard Bank and its partner in Uganda, Stanbic Bank, together with third parties directly involved in the operations.

In addition, since the South African bank also works with the Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) of China, the authorized block chain can be extended to that association. De Roos confirmed that the bank and 20 of its franchises are currently negotiating with ICBC to expand the operations center in Asia, reports Finextra.

Earlier this year, a working group of South African financial regulatory organizations published a consultation paper focusing on cryptocurrencies. In the document, the country’s officials requested public opinion to develop a policy of regulation of the cryptocurrency for South Africa.

More recently, Intel has launched a commercial blockchain package based on Hyperledger Fabric, using Intel hardware, including Xeon processors and Ethernet network adapters. The new product is designed for companies that want to launch their own chain of blocks.

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