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Ubin- Singapore’s Multi-Currency Blockchain Payment Solution Set to Launch

Singapore’s long-expected blockchain-based payments platform is ready for the launch to deploy commercially. The project is a new alternative to today’s systems based on central bank-issued digital tokens.

In an official announcement, under the scheme and initiatives section, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that the new payments network would offer an interface for “other blockchain networks to connect and integrate seamlessly.” 

Project Ubin is a collaborative plan to facilitate the payment systems which would aid the Monetary Authority of Singapore in clearing and settlement of payments and securities.

In a recent update by Reuters, project Ubin is now ready for the commercial rollout by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. 

Reportedly, the final phase of Ubin project is the joint teamwork of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), state investor Temasek, and J.P. Morgan (JPM.N).

The team has responsibly developed the final prototype of a multi-currency payments solution which would enable faster, cheaper, and convenient international payment settlements.

Reuters, while citing the joint statement of MAS and Temasek mentioned:

Ubin is an international settlement network, a payments network prototype that would “enable faster and cheaper transactions than conventional cross-border payments channels.”

The proof-of-concept project- Project Ubin is a multi-year, multi-phase project, and there are many uses cases for which the network can be employed. The new payments network is proposed to empower the settlement of multiple currencies in a cheaper and faster way via cross border payments solution. The system also facilitates foreign currency exchange and settlement of currency-denominated securities.

Ubin from SGD to Multi-Currency Payments Network

To date, there are five phases that the Ubin Project has completed with the help of approx.. 40 financial and non-financial firms to explore the potential benefits of the Ubin network.

The payments transfer blockchain-based project has started to develop in 2016 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to launch Singapore Digital Dollar (SGD) while partnering with R3, a digital ledger technology company and a consortium of financial institutions.

During the 1st phase, Deloitte has also received the commission on delivering the project report prepared with the help of various financial institutions.  

In the next phases, MAS entered into various partnerships to explore the possibilities of blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to build a robust system of payments network catering clearing and settlement of payments and securities using digital SGD.

Among them, is the second phase collaboration between MAS and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) which came together to work on the software prototype based on three different models towards decentralized inter-bank payment and settlements with liquidity savings mechanisms. 

In the 3rd phase, Singapore Exchange joined hands with MAS. The collaboration further appointed Anquan, Deloitte, and Nasdaq as their technology partners to work on Delivery versus Payment (DvP) concept towards the settlement of tokenized assets across different blockchain platforms. The motive is to offer improved operational efficiency and risk-free settlement mechanism to corporate investors and financial institutions.

The fourth phase examined various alternative methods to boost cross-border payments and settlements. For examination of existing challenges and making of the complete report, MAS has collaborated with The Bank of Canada (BoC), Bank of England (BoE) to assess alternative payment models “that could in time result in improvements in speed, cost, and transparency for users.” The Singapore government agency website noted.

During the time, MAS and BoC published a report, Jasper-Ubin Design Paper: Enabling Cross-Border High-Value Transfer using DLT. Jasper is the domestic payment system of BoC which played an important role in the development of the Ubin Project.

The fifth and final phase of the Ubin project has become the gateway for MAS to roll out the final global blockchain-based payments system for commercial use. In this latest phase, the American investment bank JPMorgan and Singapore-based investment company Temasek collaborated. 

In a move to spread the blockchain ecosystem and to connect business networks and industries, MAS has partnered with IMDA to launch a Blockchain Challenge. In a way, MAS is performing the role of a catalyst to connect and grow business networks globally via blockchain-based solutions.