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MAS announces blockchain projects with HKMA and Bank of Canada

The second edition of the Singapore FinTech Festival kicked off on Monday, November 13, 2017.

Speaking at the week-long event today, Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), announced a number of blockchain initiatives.

The MAS has been signing fintech agreements with other central banks and governmental authorities. Menon said that the MAS will have signed 16 such agreements by the end of this week.

He further announced that the MAS and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have agreed to enter an R&D collaboration in FinTech, which would enable local fintech talents to work with the experts at the MIT Media Lab.

“They will run pilots using distributed ledger technology, cryptography, quantum computing and big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning,” Menon said.

Cross-Border Trade Finance Platform With HKMA

Underscoring the potential of blockchain technology to make trade finance safer and more efficient, Menon said that the MAS is joining forces with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to develop the ‘Global Trade Connectivity Network’ – a cross-border platform for trade finance using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

“GTCN will be an open architecture platform that enables the seamless transfer of digital documents and data across borders, starting with the Singapore-Hong Kong trade corridor,” he said. “If all goes well, we expect the GTCN to go live in early 2019.”

Cross-Border Payments Platform with Bank of Canada

Menon also announced future plans on the central bank’s Project Ubin – the initiative aimed at making cross-border payments and settlements cheaper and faster. Using DLT, it seeks to enable entities across different jurisdictions to make payments directly with one another. Menon said that the MAS plans to take this initiative beyond Singapore, adding:

“We are pleased to announce a collaboration on cross-border payments with the Bank of Canada using blockchain technology.”

Project Ubin’s Phase 2 was completed recently and successfully produced three software prototypes that achieved decentralised netting of payments, in a manner that preserved transactional privacy. Menon said that the MAS will release publicly, free-of-charge, the source codes for all three successful prototypes from the Phase 2.

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