Project Ubin: Central Bank Digital Money using Distributed Ledger Technology

Project Ubin is a collaborative project with the industry to explore the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for clearing and settlement of payments and securities. DLT has shown potential in making financial transactions and processes more transparent, resilient and at lower cost. The project aims to help MAS and the industry better understand the technology and the potential benefits it may bring through practical experimentation. This is with the eventual goal of developing simpler to use and more efficient alternatives to today’s systems based on digital central bank issued tokens.

Phase 1: Domestic inter-bank payments using a central bank issued SGD equivalent

MAS announced on 16 November 2016 that it is partnering R3, a Distributed Ledger Technology company, and a consortium of financial institutions on a proof-of-concept project to conduct inter-bank payments using Blockchain technology. The consortium includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, The Hongkong And Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, J.P. Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, OCBC Bank, R3, Singapore Exchange, UOB Bank, and BCS Information Systems as a technology provider to the project.

The successful conclusion of Phase 1 was announced on 9 March 2017. Deloitte was commissioned to produce a report that covers the aspects of DLT that are most suited to settlement systems and details the design principles used for the prototype. The report “Project Ubin: SGD on Distributed Ledger” will serve as an introduction to Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), and provide an understanding of the prototype developed.

Phase 2 and beyond

MAS and its partners will be conducting research and development on queuing and gridlock resolution mechanism.

MAS plans to make available the prototypes developed, and provide opportunities for students and working professionals to gain practical experience in developing real-world applications on DLT. This could be through Hackathons organised in collaboration with Tertiary Institutions.

There will also be two spin-off projects that will leverage the lessons of the Phase 1 domestic inter-bank payments project. The first project, driven by the Singapore Exchange (SGX), focuses on making the fixed income securities trading and settlement cycle more efficient through DLT. The second project focuses on new methods to conduct cross border payments using central bank digital currency.

Last Modified on 26/05/2017