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MAS, ABS-led consortium announces breakthrough in enhanced-privacy blockchain prototypes

A CONSORTIUM led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) has developed new blockchain software prototypes which decentralise payment netting while preserving transactional privacy.

Codenamed Project Ubin, the consortium says that it has, in Phase 2, developed the world's first three prototype software models for "decentralised interbank payment and settlements with liquidity savings mechanisms".

The consortium highlights the difference to legacy netting programmes, which use a single payment queue visible to the operator to find offsetting payments, potentially exposing payment details to unauthorised parties.

Managment consultancy Accenture will publish the report during the Singapore FinTech Festival, held on Nov 13-17.

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Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at the MAS, said that the key outcome of the consortium's effort was the ability to perform netting while protecting the privacy of transactions.

"This helps to open up opportunity for a wider adoption of DLT-based (distributed ledger technology) settlement systems," he said, adding the consortium will share their takeaway from Project Ubin to encourage greater experimentation among central banks and financial institutions.

Ong-Ang Ai Boon, ABS's director, said: "We see immense benefits from a successful industry collaboration that creates a vibrant ecosystem. We are encouraged that this outcome could potentially be leveraged on by the banks to catalyse the development of more innovative solutions."