Singapore: Blockchain Payment Project Ready for Commercialization
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  • In a bid to boost blockchain technology, the MAC announced that it has completed Phase 5 of Project Ubin, a payment network powered by blockchain.
  • In a series of tests and workshops, it analyzed how technology can benefit financial and non-financial firms and deuced that it can cut time and costs.
  • The Project might potentially encourage more firms and central banks to collaborate and use blockchain for cross-border payments.

A blockchain-based payment network developed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) deemed Project Ubin has successfully completed its final tests, therefore, proving its commercial potential, it said in a statement.

A report commissioned by MAC published by Accenture looked at the use cases of blockchain technology in a slew of industries and how the tech could be used for commercial purposes. After conducting workshops with over 40 financial and non-financial firms as part of Project Ubin’s phase 5, it concluded that the blockchain-powered payment network would significantly ease payment remittances.

“An international settlement network, modeled after this payments network prototype, could enable faster and cheaper transactions than conventional cross-border payments channels,” MAS and Temasek said in a joint statement.

The report detailed that the potential benefits include quicker and cost-effective cross-border transactions, foreign currency exchange as well as smart contracts making trade more transparent.

Project Ubin could be responsible for encouraging more blockchain projects as well as facilitating collaborations between startups and central banks for smoother cross-border payments networks.

While the initiative was launched in 2016, the tests to analyze whether the blockchain concept would work on commercial operations were developed by state investor Temasek and J.P. Morgan and began last year.

Singapore: Blockchain Payment Project Ready for Commercialization
Singapore, Image Credit: Unsplash

Commenting on the roll-out of the payment network, Accenture’s country managing director for Singapore Lay Lim Teo said, “Through Project Ubin, we have identified areas where blockchain-based solutions can be deployed at scale and drive greater payment efficiency across industries.

“The financial ecosystem is an integral part of Singapore’s ambition to be a Smart Nation. The collaboration between financial and non-financial firms to create the network necessary to support multi-currency payments will also drive new products and services that generate new revenue streams.”

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Echoing a similar sentiment, Temasek’s deputy chief executive officer Chia Song Hwee said “Phase 5 of Project Ubin has demonstrated the commercial applicability, viability and benefits of blockchain technology across industries, beyond capital markets and trade finance.

“This validates Temasek’s efforts in exploring and building blockchain solutions focusing on digital identity, digital currencies, and financial asset tokenization,” he added.