Blockchain payments across borders gets a step closer

A blockchain model is being developed that allows payments by different currencies on the same network that are faster, cheaper and safer.
By: | November 18, 2019

A three-way partnership involving the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), JPMorgan and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek is working on a blockchain system for cross border payments.

This latest development (which is codenamed Project Ubin) was announced following last week’s Singapore Fintech Festival 2019. The new platform is expected to enhance cost efficiencies and create new opportunities for businesses said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS.

MAS and Singapore’s financial services industry are keen to link up with more blockchain networks to make cross-border transactions faster, cheaper and safer.

Singapore isn’t the only country working on blockchain solutions for settling global deals. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is also developing a blockchain systems for trade finance.

Blockchain technology supports crytpocurrencies which offer an alternative to traditional currency, centralized banking and transaction methods, and is based on a highly-encrypted ledger system that is almost impossible to hack.

For employers, blockchain tech can help with smart contracts, cloud storage, supply chain transactions and paying employees, particularly useful if a company regularly pays wages to international workers.

There is already a Bitcoin-based payroll service called Bitwage, which says it can circumvent the costly fees and time taken associated with transferring money internationally. This can be beneficial for both employers and employees.

In August, the New Zealand government became the world’s first country to allow employers to pay staff using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

JPMorgan is well-positioned to support the development of a blockchain-based payments network as it already has its own digital currency (JPM Coin), based on blockchain-based technology.