Singapore Marina Bay sunrise cityscape on April 19, 2017. Freepik
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has completed the final development phase of its multi-currency blockchain payments project Ubin, the financial regulator said in a press release on 13 July.
According to the announcement, Singapore’s central banking authority worked in collaboration with investment company Temasek and U.S. investment bank J.P. Morgan in order to complete the final phase of the Ubin project. Although development of the payments network prototype was finished in November 2019, MAS has since been conducting tests on the system’s ability to function properly with commercial blockchain applications.
MAS’ Chief FinTech Officer, Sopnendu Mohanty, said in a statement:
“As with all innovation adoption, there is a time for experimentation, and a time for commercialisation. Project Ubin has worked with the financial industry and blockchain community on a journey of experimentation, prototyping and learning. This has built a strong foundation of knowledge, expertise and experience, and paved a path towards commercial adoption. Following the successful experimentation over five phases, we look forward to greater adoption and live deployment of blockchain technology.”
Unveiled in 2017, Project Ubin originally had the goal of digitizing the Singapore dollar (SGD), but has since evolved into a project focused on the potential blockchain can have in supporting a real-time gross settlement system.
The Monday report also revealed that Ubin made complex financial transactions more efficient, by lowering fees on foreign currency trading and cross border payments, and replacing traditional escrow accounts with smartcontracts. The report also notes that banks are already exploring the possibility of using Ubin as a template for a commercial multi-currency platform, which could allow users to transact directly with one another.
Temasek’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chia Song Hwee, said in a statement:
“Phase 5 of Project Ubin has demonstrated the commercial applicability, viability and benefits of blockchain technology across industries, beyond capital markets and trade finance. We look forward to supporting commercialisation efforts emanating from Project Ubin and other application areas, with a view to drive greater adoption of blockchain technology.”