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The Hong Kong Stock Exchange introduces a smart contract-powered settlement platform.

Introducing “Synapse,” the innovative platform poised to expedite trades executed by international investors interested in Mainland Chinese stocks. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), the overseeing entity of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Futures Exchange, and London Metal Exchange, is set to launch this groundbreaking equities settlement acceleration platform. Named “Synapse,” this platform will leverage smart contracts programmed in DAML to optimize post-trade processes, thereby elevating operational efficiency, as per the announcement made on October 4th.

Synapse is slated for deployment on Stock Connect, an HKEX conduit facilitating international investors’ access to over 1,000 mainland Chinese stocks via Hong Kong routing. HKEX reported, “The average daily turnover of Northbound Stock Connect reached RMB109.3 billion in the first half of 2023, marking a 5 percent increase from the previous year and a remarkable 50 percent surge from 2020 levels.”

To enhance trade confirmation workflows, HKEX will establish a link with Hong Kong’s Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation through its Institutional Trade Processing service. This connection enables central matching of cross-border transactions, resulting in the automatic generation and transmission of settlement instructions back to the Synapse platform.

Beneath the discreet approval of China’s central government, Hong Kong is rapidly metamorphosing into a hub for Web3 enterprises. This transformation was underscored by the introduction of retail trading for licensed crypto exchanges in August. However, this period also bore witness to Hong Kong’s largest Ponzi scheme, with an estimated $166 million of users’ funds allegedly misappropriated by the JPEX crypto exchange. The investigation into this incident is currently ongoing.

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