Money 20/20: Singapore Central Bank Confirms International Blockchain Payment Plans

Singapore’s central bank reaffirmed its commitment to using Blockchain for international payments in an official speech March 15.

Speaking during the Money20/20 Asia conference which finished on the same date, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon told an audience that the city-state’s Blockchain plans, dubbed ‘Project Ubin,’ will “solve the challenge” of increasing efficiency in the arena.

“One of the potentially strongest use cases of crypto tokens is to facilitate cross-border payments in traditional currencies,” he said.

“This is the challenge that Singapore’s Project Ubin has set itself to solve:

  • to use blockchain technology to enable entities across jurisdictions to make payments to one another:
  • without intermediaries;
  • with greater speed and efficiency; and at lower risk and cost.”

Both Singapore’s government and MAS have long been collaboratively bullish on Blockchain’s potential while creating a similarly enabling environment for cryptocurrency businesses.

In February, MAS chief fintech officer told the mainstream press he considered the developmental aspects of Project Ubin - as an example of “fabulous Blockchain technology” - to have two years left before “real impact” can be seen.

Menon confirmed in the speech that MAS had partnered with Bank of Canada “to test and develop a cross-border solution using crypto tokens issued by the two central banks.”

Remittances using Blockchain are also an area of considerable interest to Singapore’s neighbors.

Japan and South Korea have both signalled similar schemes, banks competing with crypto industry projects such as that announced by major South Korean exchange Bithumb and US payment gateway BitPay this week.