Singapore trying to be the first to put its currency on the blockchain

Deloitte and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched Project Ubin: to the put the Singapore dollar onto a Distributed Ledger (blockchain). The project started in 2016.

MAS and The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced on 5 October 2017 that the consortium which they are leading had successfully developed software prototypes of three different models for decentralized inter-bank payment and settlements with liquidity savings mechanisms.

The consortium includes 11 financial institutions and five technology partners. The participating financial institutions are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank Ltd, HSBC Limited, J.P. Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, OCBC Bank, Singapore Exchange, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Overseas Bank. Accenture was appointed to manage and develop the prototypes. R3, IBM, and ConsenSys were engaged to provide support on the respective DLT platforms of Corda, Hyperledger Fabric and Quorum. Microsoft was engaged to support the deployment of the prototypes on Azure Blockchain.

MAS and ABS announced on 14 November 2017 that the report has been published and the source-codes and technical documentations have been released for public access under Apache License, Version 2.0. Central banks, financial institutions, as well as academic and research institutions are encouraged to tap on the open source-codes to facilitate their experiments, research and innovation.

Future Phases

There are two spin-off projects that will leverage the lessons of the prototypes developed.

1. One project is driven by the Singapore Exchange (SGX), focuses on making the fixed income securities trading and settlement cycle more efficient through DLT.
2. another focuses on new methods to conduct cross border payments using central bank digital currency.

The scale of blockchain disruption is likely unprecedented, and capable of producing huge opportunities and risks for industry players and their customers.

Ultimately, the goal is to put the Singapore dollar on the blockchain.