S’pore takes first move to ex­plore dig­i­tal cur­rency

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

SIN­GA­PORE: In a ma­jor move to ex­plore the use of dig­i­tal cur­rency in Sin­ga­pore, the city state’s cen­tral bank plans to launch a pi­lot project with the coun­try’s stock ex­change and eight lo­cal and for­eign banks to use blockchain tech­nol­ogy for in­ter­bank pay­ments.

Cross-bor­der for­eign cur­rency trans­ac­tions will also be re­viewed un­der the pi­lot as Sin­ga­pore’s cen­tral bank looks to po­si­tion the fi­nan­cial cen­tre as an im­por­tant fin­tech hub.

The ef­fort is sup­ported by the R3 blockchain re­search lab and BCS In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems, Ravi Menon, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Mone­tary Au­thor­ity of Sin­ga­pore (MAS), said at the Sin­ga­pore Fin­tech Fes­ti­val yes­ter­day.

“Un­der the pi­lot sys­tem banks will de­posit cash as col­lat­eral with the MAS in ex­change for MAS-is­sued dig­i­tal cur­rency,” he said.

The consortium in­cludes Bank of Amer­ica Mer­rill Lynch, The Bank of Tokyo-Mit­subishi UFJ, Ltd, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank Ltd, The Hongkong and Shang­hai Bank­ing Corp Ltd, JPMor­gan, OCBC Bank, Sin­ga­pore Ex­change and United Over­seas Bank.

Blockchain, which orig­i­nates from dig­i­tal cur­rency bit­coin, works as an elec­tronic trans­ac­tion-pro­cess­ing and record-keep­ing sys­tem that al­lows all par­ties to track in­for­ma­tion through a se­cure network, with no need for third-party ver­i­fi­ca­tion.

“The next phase of the project will in­volve trans­ac­tions in for­eign cur­rency, pos­si­bly with the sup­port of an­other cen­tral bank,” Menon told an au­di­ence of bankers and ex­ec­u­tives from tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies.

Pol­i­cy­mak­ers in Sin­ga­pore have sought to at­tract in­vest­ment in fin­tech, eas­ing reg­u­la­tion and set­ting up spe­cial de­part­ments to sup­port the in­dus­try. The MAS yes­ter­day also fi­nalised guide­lines for a “reg­u­la­tory sand­box”, which al­lows fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and fin­tech play­ers to test their new busi­ness mod­els and prod­ucts with­out fall­ing foul of fi­nan­cial rules.

Menon also said Sin­ga­pore is in the process of cre­at­ing a na­tional know-your-cus­tomer or KYC util­ity through a per­sonal data plat­form that will have gov­ern­ment-ver­i­fied per­sonal de­tails of res­i­dents.

The MAS will part­ner gov­ern­ment agen­cies to ex­pand the plat­form known as “MyInfo ser­vice” to the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try for more ef­fi­cient KYC checks.

Separately, MAS’s chief fin­tech of­fi­cer said Bri­tain’s vote to leave the Euro­pean Union opens an op­por­tu­nity for Sin­ga­pore to re­cruit tal­ent for its am­bi­tious plans to be­come a lead­ing fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy hub.

“First thing af­ter Brexit hap­pened, we talked about tal­ent – tal­ent com­ing out of the UK,” Sop­nendu Mo­hanty said dur­ing a panel dis­cus­sion at the fin­tech fes­ti­val.

“I agree they have a huge pool of tal­ent and it’s good to have some­thing like that so we can take some tal­ent out,” he added. – Reuters

A DBS booth is seen at the Sin­ga­pore Fin­tech Fes­ti­val in Sin­ga­pore yes­ter­day. DBS is one of the banks in­volved in the pi­lot project to use blockchain tech­nol­ogy for in­ter­bank pay­ments.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.