Singapore’s Government Blockchain Experiment Is a Road to Regulatory Understanding

Last  Monday, Feb. 12 Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Sopnendu Mohanty mocked the excessive speculatory activity that is “perhaps negatively impacting the whole experimentation of cryptocurrency.” He nevertheless confirmed his dedication to the Singapore central bank’s Blockchain project — “Ubin.” In Mohanty opinion, it is in two years when we’ll see the real impact of the project. So what precisely is the “Ubin project,” a Blockchain initiative by Singapore CB?

What is Project Ubin

At Nov.16 2016,  MAS announced it would be partnering with R3, a Blockchain technology company, and a consortium of financial institutions on a proof-of-concept project to conduct inter-bank payments using Blockchain technology.

Instantly, this was evidence of the Singapore Central Bank and related authorities looking to the potential of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, rather than shunning and running from it. In their initial announcement, MAS stated: “The project will develop a pilot system in which Blockchain infrastructure is used to issue and transfer funds among participants.”

They identified that Blockchain has the power to “make financial transactions and processes more transparent, resilient and at lower cost.” What was also outlined in this preliminary announcement is that this experiment could lead to banking alternatives: “This will also help MAS and the industry to develop simpler to use and more efficient alternatives to today’s systems.”

Phases of implementation

The rolling out of project Ubin has been ongoing since late 2016 and is still in its opening phases. It is a project that is long-standing and ongoing, incorporating a list of impressive advisors and 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