The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced yesterday (11 November 2019) it has successfully developed a blockchain-based prototype that enables payments to be carried out in different currencies on the same network.
MAS built this prototype in collaboration with JP Morgan and Temasek.
This will potentially improve cost efficiencies for businesses, as a “big step forward in making cross-border transactions faster, cheaper, and safer”.
The multi-currency payment network is currently undergoing industry testing to see how well it can integrate with commercial blockchain applications.
Some applications that have worked are now being showcased at the Singapore FinTech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) 2019.
To date, MAS has engaged more than 40 financial and non-financial firms to explore the potential benefits of the network.
The network is MAS’ latest milestone in Project Ubin, collaborative project with the financial industry to explore the uses of blockchain and distributed ledger technology for clearing and settlement of payments and securities.
In early 2020, a project report will be released detailing the use cases that would benefit from a blockchain-based payments network, and additional features that the network needs to provide.
Said MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty, “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. We look forward to linking up with more blockchain networks to improve cross-border connectivity,” he said.