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OCBC first Singapore bank to join JPMorgan's blockchain network

OCBC has become the first Singapore bank to join JPMorgan's live blockchain service - known as the interbank information network (IIN), JPMorgan said on Friday. 

The Singapore lender joins 112 other banks from the Asia-Pacific in joining the IIN, with regional banks dominating the list of new entrants. Asia-Pacific banks that have signed up on the network now total 134, making up nearly 40 per cent of the 343 banks that have signed up since 2018. The 80 Japanese banks that have signed up also form the largest bloc globally. 

IIN was launched as a pilot in 2017, and aims to cut the friction involved in the global payments process. It runs on a permissioned blockchain developed by JPMorgan called Quorum, which is described as a variant of the Ethereum blockchain. 

“The intent with IIN was always to develop a meaningful ecosystem of bank users, all focused on harnessing emerging technologies such as blockchain to better address the complex cross border payments industry,” said John Hunter, global head of clearing for JPMorgan Chase.

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“In just one year, we’ve seen IIN scale as well as expand in terms of role and capabilities – and we are excited at the growth to come.”