The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has rolled out a blockchain-based prototype network designed to enable payments in multiple currencies.
Currently, the prototype network is being tested to assess its capabilities to integrate with commercial blockchain applications.
MAS developed the technology in partnership with JP Morgan and Temasek under Project Ubin, which has entered the fifth phase.
Project Ubin is an initiative that seeks to leverage blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to streamline payment settlement.
With the new network, MAS and the partner organisations seek to reduce operating costs for businesses and streamline cross-border transactions.
The technology will offer interfaces to enable integration with other blockchain networks and provide additional features to support Delivery-versus-Payment (DvP) settlement with private exchanges.
It will also enable other use cases including conditional payments and escrow for trade and payment commitments for trade finance.
MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said: “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. This will be a big step forward in making cross-border transactions faster, cheaper, and safer.”
Under the fifth phase of Project Ubin, the partners will also work to evaluate commercial viability and value of the blockchain-based payments network.
To date, over 40 financial and non-financial firms were associated with this initiative.