Singapore’s MAS and JP Morgan Develops Multi-Currency Blockchain Payment System

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank has unveiled a blockchain-based prototype for cross-border payments. 

According to an announcement published today by the apex bank, the newly developed payment solution saw MAS partner with two investment giants — the U.S based JPMorgan Chase and Temasekan investment firm owned by the Singapore government.

“There is growing evidence now that blockchain-based payments networks are able to enhance cost efficiencies and create new opportunities for businesses. We will make the technical specifications publicly accessible to accelerate these efforts,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS.

Sopnendu also expressed optimism that the bank will be linking up with more blockchain firms in the future, to ensure that cross-border transactions in the country are cheap, fast, and secured. 

The payment solution is part of MAS blockchain Project dubbed Project Ubin, which began in November 2016 and was established by MAS to examine the pros and cons of the blockchain technology and its possible application to facilitate payments processes. 

At the moment, the project is in its fifth phase and will be deployed to improve cost efficiencies for businesses in the country. It has also reportedly been utilized by over 40 financial and non-financial firms since inception.

John Hunter, Global Head of JPMorgan Clearing and Interbank Information Network (IIN), was quoted as saying in the announcement: 

JPMorgan 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, [we] are well-positioned to support the development of a blockchain-based payments network.”

This is not the first time the Singaporean government will be utilizing the blockchain technology for cross-border payments.  As Coinfomania reported in May, the country’s central bank partnered with the Bank of Canada (BoC) to utilize the blockchain tech in cross-border settlements. 

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