Monetary Authority of Singapore [MAS] recently revealed that it had collaborated with banking giant J.P. Morgan in order to develop a blockchain-based prototype.
J.P. Morgan has always been bullish toward blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. The banking giant went on to launch its native digital currency, JPM. Its latest partnership with MAS would allow payments of multiple currencies on one network. Investment company, Temasek Holdings, is also part of MAS’s latest venture.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer at MAS stated that MAS is looking forward to building their network by connecting with several others. Mohanty further said,
“We hope this development will encourage other central banks to conduct similar trials, and we will make the technical specifications publicly accessible to accelerate these efforts. This will be a big step forward in making cross-border transactions faster, cheaper, and safer.”
In order to discover its capabilities to integrate with commercial banking applications, the prototype is currently undergoing industry testing. The applications that were successfully tested would be revealed at the Singapore FinTech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) 2019.
Previously, MAS had introduced Project Ubin, which was established to look into Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] primarily focusing on the authorization and settlement of payments and securities. The latest prototype would drive the project into its fifth phase which would “determine the commercial viability and value of the blockchain-based payments network.”
The Global Head of Clearing and Interbank Information Network [IIN] at J.P. Morgan, John Hunter expressed his thoughts on the latest partnership and said,
“J.P. Morgan is excited to be an infrastructure partner of MAS and Temasek for Phase 5 of Project Ubin. By leveraging our key learnings from building the Interbank Information Network® (IIN) and the JPM Coin, J.P. Morgan is well-positioned to support the development of a blockchain-based payments network and operate at scale.”
Additionally, MAS revealed that Accenture would be publishing the project report in early 2020 with details pertaining to the several use cases of blockchain technology that would bolster payment networks.
India: Tamil Nadu begins work on AI, Blockchain-related policy framework
Cryptocurrencies are largely illegal in India, but the technology forming the crux of these assets is currently getting attention from many on the Asian subcontinent.
According to a recent report by the Times of India, the state of Tamil Nadu has officially begun working on a state-level policy framework concerning blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence [AI]. The framework mentions that blockchain and AI tech are ‘disrupting public policy and governance,’ with State officials currently waiting for approval on the framework.
Santosh Misra, CEO of Tamil Nadu’s e-Governance Agency [TNeGA], stated,
“We are working on separate policies on blockchain and AI. The AI policy is going to be perhaps the world’s first policy addressing safe and ethical use of AI. No state or country has announced a standalone policy to address the safety and ethics associated with AI, and we have no precedence for it.”
Misra added that the state’s primary concern is to keep a check on the ‘massive disasters’ that can be caused if AI applications are open to all users without any safety and ethical frameworks in place to counter its repercussions.
It is understood that the state’s policies on AI and blockchain are focused on assisting the government in terms of leveraging technologies to solve governing issues and problems related to service delivery.
Previously, Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami, had announced that a blockchain platform launched by the TN government would lead to better e-service deliveries. The proposed blockchain platform would place a predictive system in place for the government and also issue various identify certificates, which would allow the citizens to access the service without any form of physical application.