On October 5, 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in concert with The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) revealed the development of a trio of software prototypes for blockchain-based payment models for Phase 2 of Project Ubin.
As ETHNews reported, the project's initial phase involved testing interbank transfers on a private Ethereum network. For the second phase, software models have been developed to merge the merits of transactional privacy with a decentralized queue for settling payments and securities. Nearly a dozen financial institutions combined efforts for the project, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank Ltd, HSBC Limited, JP Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, OCBC Bank, Singapore Exchange, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Overseas Bank. Additional support was provided by Accenture, which oversaw development of the prototypes designed by R3, IBM, and ConsenSys. Microsoft also provided assistance with the deployment of the prototypes to the Azure blockchain.
ABS director Ong-Ang Ai Boon spoke of the collaborative project as a unified approach to a new payment system: “Project Ubin has brought the banks together in experimenting with DLT in a collaborative, open and transparent manner. We see immense benefits from a successful industry collaboration that creates a vibrant ecosystem. We are encouraged that this outcome could potentially be leveraged on by the banks to catalyse the development of more innovative solutions.”
A forthcoming report containing details of the project's findings is to be published by Accenture, with the purpose of aiding central banks and others in the implementation of blockchain-based projects. The report is scheduled to be published during the upcoming Singapore FinTech Festival, which will be held between November 13 and 17.
Sopnendu Mhanty, chief FinTech officer of MAS, expressed an eagerness to share the knowledge gained from Project Ubin with other institutions:
"A key outcome of the consortium’s effort is the ability to perform netting while protecting the privacy of transactions. This helps to open up opportunity for a wider adoption of DLT-based settlement systems. We are sharing our learnings and knowledge from Project Ubin to encourage greater experimentation amongst central banks and financial institutions. We look forward to working with other central banks on the use of DLT for cross-border applications."