MAS, JP Morgan, Temasek jointly develop prototype for multi-currency payments

Uma Devi

SINGAPORE (Nov 11): The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), global investment bank JP Morgan and local sovereign fund Temasek have jointly developed a blockchain-based prototype that enables payments to be carried out in multiple currencies on the same network.

MAS says that the payments network has the potential to improve cost efficiencies for businesses, and is currently undergoing industry testing to determine its ability to integrate with commercial blockchain applications.

It will also offer additional features to support use cases such as Delivery-versus-Payment (DvP) settlement with private exchanges, conditional payments and escrow for trade, as well as payment commitments for trade finance.

To date, MAS and its partners have engaged more than 40 financial and non-financial firms to explore the potential benefits of the network.

The prototype marks the latest milestone for Project Ubin, a multi-phased initiative by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to explore the usage of blockchain technology for the clearing and settlement of payments and securities. Project Ubin is currently in the fifth phase.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer at MAS, says, “There is growing evidence now that blockchain-based payments networks are able to enhance cost efficiencies and create new opportunities for businesses. We hope this development will encourage other central banks to conduct similar trials, and we will make the technical specifications publicly accessible to accelerate these efforts.”

“Blockchain technology has great potential in transforming businesses and opening up new business opportunities,” says Temasek CEO Chia Song Hwee.

“The inclusion of non-financial services companies has demonstrated applicability of blockchain technology beyond capital markets and trade finance,” adds Chia.

Multinational professional services company Accenture has been commissioned to publish the report in early 2020. The report will include blockchain use cases that would benefit from a blockchain-based payments network, and set out additional features that the network could provide.

During that time, the technical specifications for the connectivity interfaces that were developed will also be released for public access under Apache License Version 2.0.

The network’s applications which have been successfully tested will be showcased at the Singapore FinTech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) 2019.