Dig­i­tal cur­rency sys­tem for Lion City

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

SIN­GA­PORE will launch a new elec­tronic pay­ment sys­tem us­ing blockchain, the tech­nol­ogy be­hind the cryp­tocur­rency Bit­coin, the city-state’s cen­tral bank chief said yes­ter­day.

The Sin­ga­pore stock ex­change and eight banks will take part in the pilot project, which in­cludes pay­ment be­tween banks, said Mon­e­tary Au­thor­ity of Sin­ga­pore chief executive Ravi Menon at the Sin­ga­pore Fin­tech Fes­ti­val.

Blockchain tech­nol­ogy de­buted in 2009 as a pub­lic ledger for the dig­i­tal cur­rency bit­coin, but its po­ten­tial for se­curely track­ing trans­ac­tions has meant it is be­ing eyed for other uses.

The pilot project aims to in­te­grate the ser­vice into the main­stream as the South­east Asian coun­try seeks to be­come a re­gional hub for new fi­nan­cial tech­nolo­gies.

Dur­ing the pilot phase, lo­cal­banks will be able to pur­chase a virtual cur­rency reg­u­lated by the MAS, which can then be used for an in­ter-bank pay­ment. The dig­i­tal cur­rency can then be re­deemed for cash.

This re­moves a need to send in­struc­tions through the MAS, which added time and cost to the pay­ment process, Mr Menon said.

He added, “The next phase of the project will in­volve trans­ac­tions in for­eign cur­rency, pos­si­bly with the sup­port of an­other cen­tral bank.”

Blockchains are con­sid­ered tam­per-proof reg­is­ters in which en­tries are time-stamped and linked to pre­vi­ous “blocks” in a data chain.

Blockchains serve as pub­lic ledgers con­sid­ered easy to au­dit and ver­ify.

They are also au­to­mated, speed­ing up trans­ac­tions and lim­it­ing po­ten­tial for er­ror or re­vi­sion. –

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