JPMorgan, MAS Develop Blockchain Prototype for Cross-Border Payments

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of the country, and investment banking tycoon JPMorgan have created blockchain prototype for cross-border payments. 

Revealing the news on November 11, MAS stated that the prototype allows payments to be completed in various currencies on a similar network. Temasek, an investment firm owned by the Singapore government, also partnered with JPMorgan and MAS on the prototype.

“There is growing evidence now that blockchain-based payments networks are able to enhance cost efficiencies and create new opportunities for businesses,” said MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.

The prototype is a part of the fifth stage of Project Ubin, which began in November 2016 as a collaborative initiative by MAS and Singapore’s financial services industry to look at blockchain tech for clearing and settlement of securities and payments.

“J.P. Morgan is excited to be an infrastructure partner of MAS and Temasek for Phase 5 of Project Ubin. By leveraging our key learnings from building the Interbank Information Network® (IIN) and the JPM Coin, J.P. Morgan is well-positioned to support the development of a blockchain-based payments network and operate at scale,” said JPMorgan global head of clearing and IIN, John Hunter.

The MAS is confident that the prototype creation will urge other central banks to do comparable testings. “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,” stated Mohanty.

A report on Project Ubin, specifying blockchain use cases for securities and payments, is anticipated to be released in early 2020 by tech tycoon Accenture, according to the announcement.