China Merchants Bank International (CMBI), a Hong Kong-based bank, has expressed its interest in investing in a security token offering (STO) issued by Nervos Network, a public permissionless blockchain.

The token sale will start on October 16 and will be active for 14 days. Although Nervos Network has not indicated the amount it wishes to raise through the STO, Polychain Capital and CMBI have already expressed their commitment to invest in the token sale.

Polychain Capital, for example, has pledged to invest 5.7 million US dollars to the STO. CMBI, however, has not disclosed the amount it will be pouring into the STO.

CMBI is not government-owned, its shareholders are

For context, CMBI is a subsidiary of China Merchants Bank (CMB). While the Chinese government does not directly own CMBI, its top list of shareholders is made up of corporations that are either wholly-owned or partially-owned by the government. For instance, out of the top 10 corporations, at least seven have ties with the Chinese government.

With the growing tensions between China and the United States, Chinese banks are reportedly risking being sanctioned, effectively throwing them out of the dollar economy. Therefore, as reported by some media outlets, CMBI is participating in the token sale to be part of Nervos efforts to build an open platform that presents the possibility of a “new investment bank.”

While CMBI’s intentions to invest in the token sale is not explicitly clear, Kelvin Wang, the co-founder of Nervos Network, told Coindesk that:

“CMBI is a strategic partner, both in terms of financial plans and other types of applications they want to utilize for the blockchain …We want to make sure they can utilize the infrastructure.”

Not the first, maybe not the last

Notably, this isn’t the first investment CMBI is making into the Nervos Network. In 2018, during Nervos’ private token sale, Sequioa China and CMBI were part of the 28 million US dollars raised. It was during this time that a partnership between CMBI and Nervos was announced to help the bank develop decentralized applications (dApps) for use by its retail and institutional customers.

At the time, Wang said:

“Basically, what has mostly been under the traditional finance umbrella, they (CMBI) are going to experiment to put into decentralized applications …CMB are always early adopters of technology. They are way ahead of all the other banks that we know of, so they actually have done a lot of research internally, build pilot programs in that, and willing to jump in on the public side.”