Blockchain-based payments network jointly developed by MAS on track for commercial use

SINGAPORE – Singapore has developed a blockchain-based payments network that enables payments to be carried out in different currencies on the same network, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Temasek said on Monday (July 13).

The network prototype – which is on track for commercial adoption – can serve as a test network to facilitate collaboration with other central banks and the financial industry for developing next-generation cross-border payments infrastructure, the authority said.

The network was developed by MAS, in collaboration with JPMorgan and Temasek.

A report on the final phase of Project Ubin, a collaborative project between Singapore’s central bank and the financial industry to test the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology for clearing and settlement of payments and securities, was published on Monday.

The report examined the use of blockchain technology in commercial applications across different industries, and how these applications could benefit from integrating with the blockchain-based payments network prototype.

The commercial applications of the payments network prototype include cross-border payments in multiple currencies, foreign currency exchange, settlement of foreign currency-denominated securities, as well as integration with other blockchain-based platforms to enable end-to-end digitalisation across many industries and use cases.

Technical specifications for the functionalities and connectivity interfaces of the prototype network have been made publicly available to spur further industry development.

The benefits of blockchain technology in commercial applications across different industries were validated through workshops conducted with more than 40 firms engaged in phase five, or the final phase, of Project Ubin.

MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said that the project has built a strong foundation of knowledge, expertise and experience and paved the way towards commercial adoption.

“Following the successful experimentation over five phases, we look forward to greater adoption and live deployment of blockchain technology,” he said.

Mr Chia Song Hwee, deputy chief executive at Temasek, said the final phase of Project Ubin has demonstrated the commercial applicability, viability and benefits of blockchain technology across industries, beyond capital markets and trade finance.

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