Posted 1 year ago | by Ben Armstrong

JPMorgan and Singapore Create Blockchain System for Cross-Border Payments

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and JPMorgan have issued a blockchain prototype for cross-border payments. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the country’s central bank, and JPMorgan is an investment banking giant that operates in numerous countries.

According to reports on Monday, MAS announced the prototype allows payments by different currencies on the same network. An investment firm owned by the government of Singapore named Temasek also collaborated with MAS and JPMorgan on the prototype.

“There is growing evidence now that blockchain-based payments networks are able to enhance cost efficiencies and create new opportunities for businesses,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS.

Blockchain Goes Big

MAS and Singapore’s financial services industry want to develop in blockchain tech for clearing and settlement of payments and securities. They started in Nov. 2016 with Project Ubin and the prototype is the result of that, which is part of the fifth phase of the project.

John Hunter, who is global head of clearing and IIN at JPMorgan, commented:

“J.P. Morgan is excited to be an infrastructure partner of MAS and Temasek for Phase 5 of Project Ubin. By leveraging our key learnings from building the Interbank Information Network® (IIN) and the JPM Coin, J.P. Morgan is well-positioned to support the development of a blockchain-based payments network and operate at scale”

The MAS expects that the prototype will encourage other central banks to conduct similar trials.

“We will make the technical specifications publicly accessible to accelerate these efforts. We look forward to linking up with more blockchain networks to improve cross-border connectivity. This will be a big step forward in making cross-border transactions faster, cheaper, and safer,” said Mohanty.

Singapore Remains a leader in Blockchain Development

As per the detailed report on Project Ubin, describing blockchain uses cases for payments and securities, and is expected to be announced in early 2020 by tech giant Accenture.

Singapore isn't the only country working on blockchain solutions for settling global deals. A number of other systems have been created for trade finance, and one is currently being developed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

While major banks were initially harsh on blockchain and tokens, it looks like that attitude has faded. Blockchain-based platforms are being developed for numerous uses, including some of the largest markets on earth.