As Reuters reported on Sept. 2, HSBC conducted the first blockchain-based yuan-denominated letter of credit transaction deploying R3’s Corda-powered Voltron platform. In the cross-border transaction, Hong Kong-based electronics manufacturer MTC Electronics exported a shipment of LCD products to its parent firm Shenzhen MTC.
Banking and financial services giant HSBC has completed the first yuan-denominated letter of credit transaction on a blockchain using the Voltron trade finance platform.
24 hours instead of ten days
The blockchain platform ostensibly enabled the parties to exchange electronic documents in 24 hours instead of the regular five to 10 days required for traditional document exchanges. Commenting on the deal, Ajay Sharma, the regional head of global trade and receivables finance for Asia-Pacific at HSBC, said:
“We are hoping that we will have something by end of the year, maybe the first quarter of next year, where will we know from Voltron what it costs, at which point, a lot of banks who might be sitting on the sidelines will be able to make a decision.”
Streamlining trade finance documents
R3 in collaboration with eight banks – including Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, NatWest, SEB and Standard Chartered – initially launched Voltron last October in a bid to digitize trade finance documents and attract more member banks and companies.
In August, London-based bank and financial services firm Standard Chartered completed its first cross-border blockchain letter of credit transaction in the oil industry with Thai state-owned oil giant PTT Group.
The pilot consisted of digitizing and simplifying the end-to-end exchange of information between all parties in a shipment of an oil product from Thailand to Singapore.
How Does Blockchain Gambling Work?
There is quite a bit of crypto casinos around. Some of them offer pure blockchain gambling. But what is blockchain gambling, what does it entail and how is it different from traditional gambling? Here is an overview.
Blockchain Gambling Software
Blockchain gambling refers to a specific kind of casinos that base their games on software that somehow either:
- Run on a blockchain through a smart contract
- Or depends on random number generation from a blockchain for results – like a hash on a Bitcoin block
Most of these options also require players to play with cryptocurrency, although it is possible to base a fiat game on software that depends on blockchain random number generation for its results. Many times, this random number generation that is based on block hashes, is used to guarantee provable fairness.
Smart Contract Blockchain Gambling
Those brands or games that apart from requiring players to use cryptocurrency, also run on a smart contract, often run completely autonomously from human intervention. Those games and brands that don’t run on smart contracts but are still blockchain based, can also be automated, but their processes are somehow centralized. Smart contracts allow blockchain-based casinos to run a completely autonomous operation.
Blockchain Gambling is Provably Fair
Another de facto feature of blockchain gambling is that games and brands that use this type of gaming are provably fair by definition. It is virtually impossible to tamper with the records of an immutable decentralized and distributed blockchain like Bitcoin. Therefore, it is easy to make the results verifiably random based on block hashes.
How Does Blockchain Gambling Work?
Given that a blockchain will store data immutably, pay outs are often automated as well. The way these casinos or games work is the following:
- A bet is placed on a given outcome
- If the outcome is true, the software or the smart contract will pay those who bet on that outcome from the bets that were placed, to the addresses that predicted the result correctly.
- This means that wins are limited to the pool gambled.
- If it is a smart contract that runs the game, then it is possible to give tiered pay outs according to the smart contract.
Advantages of Blockchain Gambling
Given the way blockchain gambling works, and how it is automated, it offers several advantages to its users:
- Immediate pay outs
- Generally low house edge
- Low minimum deposits or minimum playing amounts
- Gambling that is as reliable as it can be
- Anonymity (often)
- Globally available gambling (although local restrictions might apply, it is almost impossible to enforce them)
- Most blockchain gambling games and brands offer low house edge – even zero edge