Schemes and Initiatives
Published Date: 15 May 2024

Project Guardian

Project Guardian is a collaborative initiative between policymakers and the financial industry to enhance liquidity and efficiency of financial markets through asset tokenisation.

 


Guardian pillar

Objectives

  • Formulate industry standards for asset tokenisation on a commercial scale.
  • Establish policy guidelines and frameworks. Define acceptable governance model or accountability; Technical standards for digital assets.
  • To develop a sound and sustainable digital asset ecosystem with commercial use-cases, guided by policy considerations and frameworks.

  

Focus Areas

  1. Open and Interoperable Networks

    Explore open, interoperable networks that enable digital assets to be traded across platforms and liquidity pools.

  2. Trust Anchors

    Establish a trusted environment through a common trust layer of independent trust anchors with risk management discipline to screen and onboard entities.

  3. Asset Tokenisation

    Examine the representation of securities in the form of digital bearer assets and tokenised deposits issued by financial institution.

  4. Institutional Grade Financial Protocols

    Study the introduction of regulatory safeguards and controls into financial protocols to mitigate against market manipulation and operational risk.

Future of Financial Networks - a modular approach

Project Guardian references a four layered model to describe technology components in a digital asset network. The reference model provides the context for considering the interactions between different component layers in a digital asset solution. Each layer could be governed and implemented by different actors

guardian asap model

Reference model for open and interoperable digital asset networks. System architecture jointly developed with the international Monetary Fund (IMF)

The component layers in the reference model are described as follows

access-layer

The access layer describes the mechanism by which users such as borrowers, investors, issuers, access the range of services directly or indirectly via different interfaces (custodial and non-custodial).

service-layer

Services such as payment, lending, borrowing, FX, and exchanges that are implemented through smart contracts, may interact with different types of digital assets.

asset-layer

The asset layer records ownership of assets. Native issuance refers to assets issued and represented on a platform. Meanwhile, a tokenised asset refers to existing ownership representing real-world or traditional financial assets being tokenised and represented on a platform which would normally be placed with a custodian to ensure that these tokens are constantly backed by these assets.

platform-layer

The Platform layer refers to the infrastructure upon the ownership of digital assets is recorded, and service transactions executed. The platform is assumed to be programmable and flexible, supporting different types of digital assets including tokenised securities and central bank money. The technology used to implement the platform may be blockchain or non blockchain based.

 

Reports

Enabling Open & Interoperable Networks (17.1 MB) report proposes a framework for designing open interoperable digital asset networks. The report was jointly developed with subject matter experts at the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI), with contributions from participating financial institutions

 

The Interlinking Networks (1.07 MB) report proposes a common model for linking digital asset networks implemented on diverse ledger technologies and describes common archetypes for the issuance, distribution and transfer of digital assets and introduces a reference model for cross-network exchanges. The report was jointly developed in collaboration with the Financial Industry, FinTechs and Industry Groups.

  

Current Pilots

Asset & Wealth Management
  • Franklin Templeton is launching a pilot to explore the issuance of tokenised money market fund through a Variable Capital Company (VCC) structure, which utilises digital asset networks to maintain the records of fund shares. The tokenised fund will make investment much easier for investors and aims to offer higher security, greater transparency, lower minimum subscription cost, faster processing as well as increased efficiencies.
  • HSBC, Marketnode and UOB have successfully concluded a technical pilot on the issuance and distribution of a digitally native structured product. The pilot successfully demonstrated the potential for lower issuance and servicing costs, reduced issuance and settlement times, deeper customisability, and broader distribution for participants within the structured product chain. Looking ahead, this pilot aims to embark on further pilot on the issuance of multi-currency and debt/equity linked structured notes under HSBC's existing issuance programme, tokenised by Marketnode's multi-asset issuance platform, and distributed by UOB for its wealth management activities. 
  • J.P. Morgan and Apollo are collaborating to demonstrate how tokenisation and smart contracts could enable the seamless investment and ongoing management of discretionary portfolios, including Alternative Assets, through normalised subscription/redemption processing, automated portfolio rebalancing and customisation at scale. This initiative will further demonstrate how holistic portfolios could be built across the fragmented landscape of tokenised funds through interoperability solutions across multiple networks.
  • Schroders and Calastone are progressing their work on a tokenised investment vehicle pilot, which will securely capture and maintain records of an investment portfolio directly onto distributed ledger technology (DLT)/ blockchain. The pilot will apply the security attributes inherent in DLT to evolve traditional forms of book-keeping and demonstrate proof of ownership through tokens. HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank are exploring the integration of safeguarding, servicing, and on-chain governance.
  • UBS Asset Management has launched a pilot to explore the native issuance of Variable Capital Company (VCC) fund on digital asset networks. This aims to help to enhance fund distribution and facilitate improved secondary market trading of VCC fund shares, thus realising industry-wide operational efficiencies. As part of this initiative, proof-of-concept technical tests have been successfully conducted with SBI Digital Markets.
Fixed Income
  • DBS Bank, JP Morgan and SBI Digital Asset Holdings conducted foreign exchange and government bond transactions against liquidity pools comprising of tokenised Singapore Government Securities Bonds, Japanese Government Bonds, Japanese Yen (JPY) and Singapore Dollar (SGD).A live cross-currency transaction** involving tokenised JPY and SGD deposits was successfully conducted. In addition, a simulated exercise was performed involving the buying and selling of tokenised government bonds. More information can be found in the whitepaper report.
  • DBS Bank, SBI Digital Asset Holdings*, and UBS AG are executing a pilot repurchasing agreement (repo) with natively issued digital bonds. This aims to enable greater flexibility, operational efficiency, faster settlement, and increased efficiency for cross-border distribution and settlement of capital market instruments on digital asset networks.
  • SGX Group is developing a listing framework for debt securities. 
  • Standard Chartered, in collaboration with Linklogis, developed an initial token offering platform to enable the issuance of asset-backed security tokens listed on the Singapore Exchange. The initial pilot demonstrated the feasibility of harnessing asset-backed tokenisation to enable investors to access yield-generating tokens tied to cashflows from underlying trade finance and working capital loans.

SBI Digital Asset Holdings as project lead, with all transaction related activities conducted via licensed SBI affiliates

** A live trade with real-world assets was conducted as an isolated exercise, under a bilateral commercial arrangement to recognize zero profit and loss based on mutually agreed transactions terms.

Foreign Exchange
  • Ant International is launching a treasury management solution to enhance liquidity management funding globally. This solution will enable real-time multi-currency clearing and settlement through their global treasury centre in Singapore which supports over 40 currencies.
  • The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC) are trialing a cross-border FX payment solution using smart contracts which create blockchain interoperability. The initiative will demonstrate the use of digital ledgers to increase speed and efficiency of cross-border settlement and enable secure, interoperable payment solutions across independent bank-owned infrastructure.
  • Citi, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and Fidelity International successfully tested institutional-grade mechanisms to price and execute bilateral digital asset trades efficiently, and explored real-time post-trade reporting and analytics of digital asset trades.
  • DBS Bank, JP Morgan and SBI Digital Asset Holdings conducted foreign exchange and government bond transactions against liquidity pools comprising of tokenised Singapore Government Securities Bonds, Japanese Government Bonds, Japanese Yen (JPY) and Singapore Dollar (SGD).A live cross-currency transaction*involving tokenised JPY and SGD deposits was successfully conducted. In addition, a simulated exercise was performed involving the buying and selling of tokenised government bonds. More information can be found in the whitepaper report.

Policy Maker Group

This group seeks to deepen cross-border collaboration between policymakers, advance discussion on standardisation and interoperability of digital assets through common standards and regulatory frameworks to sustainably grow the digital asset ecosystem

 

Members of the policymaker group

  • Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
  • Financial Services Agency (JP)
  • International Monetary Fund
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority
  • Banque de France

Industry Group

This group consists of financial institution collaborating to broaden asset tokenisation efforts and leverage the network effect to expand asset tokenisation into capital markets

 

Members of the industry group

  • ADDX
  • Ant Group
  • Apollo
  • BNY Mellon
  • Citi
  • DBS
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Franklin Templeton
  • Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
  • OCBC Singapore
  • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
  • SBI Digital Asset Holdings
  • Schroder Investment Management Limited
  • SGX Group
  • Standard Chartered
  • T.Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
  • UBS Group
  • United Overseas Bank Limited

Find out more about our partners and their involvement here (125.3 KB)

For More Information

 

Please email FinTech_Sandbox@mas.gov.sg.   

 

Things to note:

 

Members of the public should note that:

  • MAS and companies participating in MAS' initiatives will not ask for your personal bankig information, security login credentials or private keys to digital wallets.
  • MAS advises the public to be alert and wary of unsolicited calls or messaging which offer deals that seem too good to be true, request personal information, give instruction to transfer funds to a third party account or offer investments into projects.

If you encounter any suspected scams related to digital assets involving MAS, please DO NOT transfer any funds, and report the matter to MAS

 

For impersonation scams involving institutions regulated by MAS or phishing scams, please make a police report via the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness