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(please check my profile for prior threads: this post builds off my country threads) ***"this is all speculation"*** The Monetary Authority of Singapore For several years now, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has taken a proactive approach in exploring and trailing blockchain technology for it’s possible application into their financial system. Since 2016, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) has established a regulatory sandbox allowing Fintech companies to experiment within regulatory parameters.¹ MAS has also collaborated with Deloitte, R3, and a consortium consisting of HSBC, J.P. Morgan,Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and etc. on Project Ubin. Project Ubin is a proof-of-concept (PoC) of interbank payments being facilitated by distributed ledger technology (DLT). The blockchain also introduced the concept of a digital SGD (Singapore Dollar) within the ledgers that is distinct from all current existing forms of digital central bank money. With Project Ubin’s ultimate goal is to explore and help reduce risks and costs for cross border payments and securities.² MAS has even taken a step further in nurturing the FinTech environment by signing multiple FinTech cooperation agreements with overseas financial regulators including Financial Conduct Authority, UK (May 2016), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (June 2016), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (September 2016), Korean Financial Services Commission (October 2016), Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers of France (March 2017), Financial Services of Agency, Japan (March 2017) and the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (June 2017). In a CNBC interview this past October, Sopnendu Mohanty (chief fintech officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore ) stated that in regards to Project Ubin’s collaboration between MAS and the consortium of banks.³ With the successful conclusion of Project Ubin last March, MAS stated that it was “in the early stages of discussions to develop links from Singapore to other countries using DLT to allow cross-border payments to settle directly using central bank accounts.”⁴ Which exactly aligns to implied future explorations on Project Ubin, cross border payments.⁵ The innovation occurring in the environment of Singapore has caught the attention of several nations due to it’s potential disruption in the current financial system. One nation being Bahrain, a country that has ambitions to be completely integrated in blockchain technology by 2020.⁶ The Economic Development Board (EDB) of Bahrain being tasked with this goal, has been observing MAS and their progress. Eventually leading to Bahrain having discussions with Singapore’s central bank to devise plans for a pilot blockchain project in the Gulf state.⁷ Potentially being a foreign partner in foreign currency transactions that Ravi Menon (the managing director of the central bank of Singapore) had hinted Project Uben wanted to explore in future phases of the project. And this further developed this past November when MAS disclosed that “a collaboration on cross-border payments with the Bank of Canada using blockchain technology” had been reached.⁸ The collaboration intends to expand Project Ubin beyond Singapore’s borders to Canada’s counterpart, Project Jasper. An interbank payment system developed by Canada’s central bank based off of distributed ledger technology.⁹ Gradually overtime, Singapore’s central bank has been able to negotiate and form partnerships with other central banks to explore the utilization of distributed ledger technology into the financial system and possibly build corridors based off the technology with one another. Enter Ripple When MAS was forming the FinTech regulatory sandbox in 2016, Ripple was sought out as a consultant for the establishment of the project.¹⁰ Not only did this demonstrate that Ripple is viewed as a leader in the FinTech space but that the company has expertise in understanding the importance of regulatory compliance between companies and regulators. Along with that, Ravi Menon (Managing Director of MAS) praised Ripple for having a solution to real-time gross settlement, currency exchange, and remittance thru DLT. Menon also stated that, MAS reaching out to Ripple also revealed that government institutions such central banks and financial regulatory authorities have been consulted and in discussions with Ripple for cooperation in the development of projects. Which is evident by the number of proof-of-concepts Ripple has participated with both central banks and regional banks. In latter reports on Project Ubin progress released by MAS, the central authority revealed that a prototype integrating the Ripple blockchain for Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transactions across geographies would be trialed.¹² While in Singapore these past few weeks, multiple news outlets are reporting that Ripple is in discussions for its technology to be part of the MAS's blockchain experiment in cross-border payments.¹³ ¹⁴ The Bank of England also held it’s own proof-of-concept (PoC), selecting Ripple to help to demonstrate cross-border payments and settlement using two different Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) systems.¹⁵ The PoC intention was to demonstrate synchronisation of cash movements made using two simulated RTGS systems utilizing the open-source Interledger Protocol (RippleNet). The results of the PoC were ultimately shared later last year with words of encouragement for Ripple’s technology.¹⁶ The Bank of England sharing thru a report, The report ended by disclosing that Implying that the Bank of England and Ripple’s discourse has yet to end and leaving an open question on the possible utilization of XRP as a liquidity solution. And we know that Ripple has been holding discussions with several central banks and authorities thru social media. Notable examples such as Ryan Zagone (Director of Regulatory Relations at Ripple) with the central bank of Indonesia and Dilip Rao (Global Head, Infrastructure Innovation at Ripple) with Bahrain EDB’s Khalid Saad. Interestingly enough, this past December EDB’s Khalid Saad gave an insightful interview to Singapore Business Review on Bahrain and Singapore’s relationship in the financial technology space. When asked about Singapore’s innovation in FinTech, Saad replied by saying Also elaborating to a question regarding both country’s collaborations, With Saad’s photo with Dilip Rao, Bahrain’s intentions to build a corridor between themselves and Singapore, and MAS wanting to expand Project Ubin to partner countries utilizing RippleNet for cross-border payments, it certainly leaves the strong possibility that Ripple will more than likely be involved. And there is one other subtle but odd coincidence in regards to Bahrain and Ripple. There is, and appears to be an increasing an amount of nodes within Ripple’s network displaying conflicting time zones that are intended for the Bahrain region. One other noteworthy point, Khalid was appointed as CEO of Bahrain FinTech Bay (“BFB”).¹⁹ Saad will oversee the implementation of BFB’s long and short-term objectives which will certainly align with the nations goal to have country wide adoption on blockchain technology by 2020. Returning to the previously mentioned collaboration between the central banks of Canada and Singapore on cross-border payments based on the utilization of DLT, unveils subtle connections to Ripple.²⁰ MAS is not the only participant with ties to Ripple but the majority of the participants in Project Jasper have individually trialed Ripple technology or collaborated with the company.²¹ Banks and collaborators consisting of the Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank, and R3 have all direct trials and collaborations with Ripple at some point in time.²² ²³ Essentially if not all, almost all Project Jasper participants are cooperating with Ripple already. In the latest report released on Project Jasper, future exploration on central bank to central bank digital cross-border currency exchange is a priority. Specifically on how might a single-currency DLT zone best be connected with other currencies .²⁴ The report puts the central banks collaboration into perspective while Ripple blockchain technology seems to be the next logical step to be trialed. Ripple’s prominence in the finance world has grown so much that just this past November, Ripple alongside the IMF, held a Central Bank Summit in New York City. The summit was able to gather more than two dozen central banks from around the world. The summit provide the right environment to provide Both the IMF and Ripple also went in depth on the current financial system’s structure and shortcomings in cross-border payments. Proceeding with the advantages of adopting distributed ledger technology and the issuing of central bank digital currencies.²⁶ The collaboration between Ripple and central banks is just at the beginning as Ripple now has a Infrastructure Innovation team geared towards central banks and market infrastructures that will focus on What the Future Holds It is safe to say that Ripple has not only positioned itself excellent in regards to central banks and regulators, but Ripple’s technology including it’s network and XRP, will also be compliant to however central authorities will want to impose regulations on cryptocurrencies. Implying that XRP will meet KYC, AML, and CTF standards in order for the digital asset to be adopted for both institutional and commercial applications. And because of the familiarity with RippleNet and understanding of XRP, central banks will be less likely to ban the digital asset outright considering it’s potential utilization as a liquidity solution for the markets. Both scenarios alluded to by MAS just this week, With Ravi Menon speaking on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, and mentioning that Currently regulators are beginning to cooperate with one another with the intentions to how properly regulate and address the growing cryptocurrency market.³⁰ Luckily both Ripple and XRP will probably be spared of any outright prohibitions of cryptocurrencies in the future, as most regulators will have at least been in discussions with the company in the past. An example being both Chinese³¹ and Japanese authorities being joined by South Korea for the regulations on cryptocurrencies in the region when the former group has held discussions with Ripple. One thing is certain though: in regards to central banks, authorities and regulators, both Ripple and XRP are in the perfect position to be potentially adopted for global application soon. Sources 1. http://www.mas.gov.sg/Singapore-Financial-Centre/Smart-Financial-Centre/FinTech-Regulatory-Sandbox.aspx 2. https://www.opengovasia.com/articles/7845-mas-introduced-sgd-on-ledger-concept-for-blockchain-based-interbank-payment-system-poc 3. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/26/singapore-cryptocurrency-blockchain-trial.html 4. http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Media-Releases/2017/MAS-working-withindustry-to-apply-Distributed-Ledger-Technology.aspx 5. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/26/singapore-cryptocurrency-blockchain-trial.html 6. https://www.ccn.com/bahrain-signs-fintech-pact-singapore-amid-plan-country-level-blockchain-adoption/ 7. http://www.arabianbusiness.com/bahrain-in-talks-with-singapore-on-blockchain-pilot-665012.html 8. http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Speeches-and-Monetary-Policy-Statements/Speeches/2017/Singapore-FinTech-Journey-2.aspx 9. https://www.ccn.com/singapore-canadian-central-banks-unite-blockchain-cross-border-payments/ 10. https://ripple.com/files/ripple_mas_sandbox_consultation_07_2016.pdf 11. https://ripple.com/insights/singapores-continued-investment-in-banking-innovation/ 12. http://www.mas.gov.sg/~/media/ProjectUbin/Project Ubin SGD on Distributed Ledger.pdf 13. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/cryptocurrency-player-ripple-keen-to-set-off-blockchain-waves-in 14. https://themarketmogul.com/ripple-singapore/ 15. https://ripple.com/insights/ripple-selected-to-participate-in-the-bank-of-england-fintech-accelerators-exploration-of-the-use-of-blockchain-for-global-rtgs/ 16. https://ripple.com/insights/results-of-the-bank-of-englandripple-proof-of-concept-published-today/ 17. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/fintech/ripple 18. https://www.bahrainfintechbay.com/single-post/2017/12/13/Everything-you-need-to-know-about-Singapore-and-Bahrains-FinTech-relationship 19. https://www.bahrainfintechbay.com/single-post/2018/01/14/Press-Release-Bahrain-FinTech-Bay-appointment-of-Chief-Executive-Officer 20. https://www.ccn.com/singapore-canadian-central-banks-unite-blockchain-cross-border-payments/ 21. https://www.coindesk.com/bank-canada-demos-blockchain-based-digital-dollar/ 22.https://twitter.com/Ripple/status/659442643827474432?ref_src=twsrc^tfw 23. https://ripple.com/insights/ripple-and-r3-team-up-with-12-banks-to-trial-xrp-for-cross-border-payments/ 24. https://www.payments.ca/sites/default/files/29-Sep-17/jasper_report_eng.pdf 25. https://ripple.com/insights/ripple-hosts-worlds-central-banks-to-explore-next-generation-of-payments/ 26. https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2017/11/01/sp103017-fintech-and-cross-border-payments 27. https://ripple.com/insights/exploring-innovation-payment-system-infrastructures/ 28. https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2018/01/127084-singapore-deputy-pm-responds-amlanti-terror-financing-questions-regarding-cryptocurrency/ 29. https://www.ccn.com/singapore-central-bank-chief-wants-cryptocurrency-to-survive-crash/ 30. https://www.coindesk.com/report-south-korea-eyes-joint-crypto-regulations-with-china-japan/ 31. https://cointelegraph.com/news/ripple-talks-with-peoples-bank-of-china-key-to-chinese-blockchain-market EDIT 3-16-2018 https://www.coindesk.com/singapore-central-bank-touts-blockchain-for-cross-border-payments/ EDIT 6-22-2018 "The Governor also mentioned that the bank has begun working together with the Bank of Canada, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and some private-sector organizations to upgrade inter-bank cross-border payments, including initiatives based on DLT." https://cointelegraph.com/news/bank-of-england-to-rebuild-settlement-system-to-interface-with-blockchain-platforms/amp?__twitter_impression=true EDIT 10-30-2018 (PAGE 28-32) BoC is working with MAS and BoE on blockchain cross border payments) https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/presentation-251018.pdf EDIT 11-15-2018 EDIT 12-5-2018 https://www.coindesk.com/r3s-new-corda-app-supports-payments-in-xrp-cryptocurrency
Previous Work: https://www.xrpchat.com/topic/7598-ripplegates-foundationindia/?tab=comments#comment-99889 https://www.xrpchat.com/topic/9189-ripple-india/ https://www.xrpchat.com/topic/9760-ripple-singapore-bahrain-the-uae/?tab=comments#comment-97143 ***THIS IS ALL SPECULATION*** The Korean Government Similar to other Asian Pacific countries, South Korea is being proactive on adopting financial technology. As a society, Korea is trending towards being cashless with credit and bank cards becoming the primary means of conducting trade. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2016/03/488_199146.html Koreans themselves have begun to accept the notion of carrying less cash. https://www.electronicproducts.com/Mobile/Devices/South_Korea_plans_to_become_a_cashless_society_by_2020.aspx And the Central Bank of Korea has also set a deadline in which they want to demonetize trade transactions by 2020. http://www.livebitcoinnews.com/south-koreas-cashless-push-will-see-coins-removed-circulation-2020/ Ultimately the removal of coins will cause a disruption on retail prices for goods and services within the country. The Central Bank of South Korea is facilitating these changes by instructing consumers to deposit loose change onto the national T-Money cards. The T-Money card can be used for all forms of transportation including taxi rides, and in several thousand convenience stores in the country, as a payment option. And in an added effort, "loose change" in trade transactions will be able to automatically be deposited into the individual's bank account. https://www.electronicproducts.com/Mobile/Devices/South_Korea_plans_to_become_a_cashless_society_by_2020.aspx http://www.livebitcoinnews.com/south-koreas-cashless-push-will-see-coins-removed-circulation-2020/ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2016/03/488_199146.html To take even further, the South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (KFSC) publicly announced it's objective to have a national digital currency using blockchain technology by 2020. https://bravenewcoin.com/news/south-korea-plans-national-digital-currency-using-a-blockchain/ Within the announcement, a consortium dealing blockchain technology was said to be forming by FI's to jointly research and run pilots projects. https://bravenewcoin.com/news/south-korea-plans-national-digital-currency-using-a-blockchain/ https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/south-korea-announces-digital-currency-system-expansion-boost-fintech/ http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/money/16703-blackchain-movement-blockchain-consortium-launched-south-korea While at the same time, the Bank of Korea released a report on FinTech Companies shaping the financial industry stating that, https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/bank-korea-fintech-companies-will-reshape-financial-industry/ Shortly after, the Korean consortium publicly announced it's formation stating that 21 financial investment companies and five blockchain technology firms had signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) to develop distributed ledger solutions in blockchain solutions. With a given road-map of the consortium's motives, https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/south-korea-sees-first-blockchain-consortium/ Ultimately the action being taken within South Korea was mirroring the movements being undergone by their neighbors across the sea in Japan. With Ripple partners coming into play...... Initially details on the consortium weren't disclosed but shortly after the announcement of it's formation, a partnership involving the KFSC was reached. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) agreed on cooperation over exploring joint innovation projects with a focus on big data and mobile payments in FinTech. http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Media-Releases/2016/Singapore-and-South-Korea-sign-cooperation-agreement-in-FinTech.aspx https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/singapore-south-korea-come-together-fintech/ On top of a collaboration with MAS, the government of South Korea was in talks with Indonesian government about joining forces in an attempt to boost the FinTech industry to help the burgeoning sector in both countries. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/south-korea-indonesia-considering-fintech-collaboration/ For those that are unaware, Ripple has previously met with the Central Bank of Indonesia. Months later, the Korean Central Bank announced plans to execute a R3 consortium proof-of-concept blockchain technology project. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/korean-central-bank-deploy-r3s-blockchain-proof-concept/ http://ftreporter.com/korean-central-bank-to-use-r3-blockchain-proof-of-concept/ https://www.econotimes.com/Exclusive-Bank-of-Korea-R3-consortium-to-carry-out-blockchain-project-549053 So to reiterate, the Korean government came into agreement with MAS on cooperating in the FinTech space and shortly after the Korean Central Bank decided to proceed with a PoC consortium by R3 similar to Project Ubin in Singapore...... Along with the previous development, Hana Financial Group became the first Korean financial institution to take part in the R3 CEV project. http://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?sc=30800020&year=2016&no=281535 Remember that MAS wants to expand it's network to other central bank for cross-border transactions using a Ripple blockchain prototype......... SBI Ripple Asia Just this past September, SBI Ripple Asia announced that it would be testing a blockchain based funds transfer system by the end of this year between Japanese and South Korean banks. SBI Ripple and it's new public partner, DAYLI Intelligence, will work together to http://blocktribune.com/sbi-ripple-asia-trial-cross-border-blockchain-funds-transfers/ https://www.coindesk.com/sbi-ripple-asia-to-test-bank-transfers-between-japan-and-south-korea/ And besides cooperating in this venture with SBI Ripple Asia, DAYLI Intelligence is involved in another interesting project. http://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?year=2017&no=551655 All three parties are in cooperation developing the "WeBee" coin with the intention of the digital coin operating on a blockchain. (what will be used for trade remittances?......) http://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?year=2017&no=551655 https://financefeeds.com/south-korean-woori-bank-develop-digital-coins/ Finally, SBI Ripple Asia is involved with another Korean company called Coinplug. https://www.coindesk.com/sbi-reveals-joint-blockchain-remittance-venture-south-korean-startup/ With the venture expected to launch its remittance service later this year...... And just like DAYLI Intelligence, Coinplug has involved itself in another interesting project. Coinplug with KB Kookmin are going to provide cross-border foreign exchange services that utilize blockchain technology. http://themerkle.com/south-koreas-bank-developing-blockchain-exchange/ https://www.coindesk.com/korean-bank-developing-blockchain-solution-foreign-exchange/ And KB Kookim are also releasing a blockchain based mobile payment service for KB Kookim Card..... http://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?no=741187&year=2016 Kakao Unlike most attempts to tie links with Ripple by addressing potential connections to Alibaba (which I think is a thing), my focus is solely on KakaoPay/KakaoTalk. KakaoTalk is a mobile messenger while KakaoPay is a mobile payment system built on top of KakaoTalk. The development of KakaoPay was thru Kakao and LG CNS https://www.lgcns.com/Views/Solution/KakaoPay_En Kakao had also partnered with the KFTC in the past for integrating a mobile payment platform to the Korean financial system. https://techcrunch.com/2014/11/12/korean-internet-giant-daum-kakao-launches-its-own-mobile-payment-platform/ Remember that. LG CNS themselves have been adopting blockchain technology to improve their services, most notably with R3. https://www.coindesk.com/electronics-giant-lg-testing-r3s-distributed-ledger-software/ https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/lg-launches-corda-based-blockchain-platform-south-korea/ And there is another connection. http://www.techforkorea.com/2017/03/14/kakaopay-launches-new-service-transfer-to-bank/ What will be used to settle remittances between a Hana Money and KakaoMoney exchange?......... The same Hana Financial that had entered R3's CEV project mentioned earlier. And with the the government of Korea driving blockchain adoption on the Korean banks, there has been some interesting developments. With, http://mengnews.joins.com/view.aspx?aId=3037416 http://www.theasianbanker.com/press-releases/korean-banks-turn-to-blockchain-to-streamline-service The winner was supposedly chosen last month, with the system built being ready for use by banks in April..... (all while SBI Ripple Asia/R3 in Korea are becoming increasingly active) To come into to full circle, LG CNS has ~32% ownership with Seoul Metropolitan City Government (~35%) on Korea Smart Card Co. What is special about Korea Smart Card Co.? The T-Money system was implemented and is operated by Korea Smart Card..... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-money The same T-Money mentioned earlier in the post that will be used to transmit loose change from trade transactions to the individual's bank account. In a financial environment that will be riddled with many different types of digital currencies, what method will be used to settle remittances?..... I mention Seoul Metroplitan City Government because of one partner ship it is in. https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2017/09/121430-singapore-korea-fintech-collaboration-marvelstone-group-seoul-metropolitan-sign-mou/ A group that has the support of none other than MAS.... http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Speeches-and-Monetary-Policy-Statements/Speeches/2016/Speech-at-the-Launch-of-Lattice80.aspx So why do I persist on these R3 connections? It's simple. SBI Group became the largest shareholder of R3 over the summer while we know SBI's intentions with XRP. In an interview with Kitao, he stated that https://ripple.com/insights/sbi-holdings-views-on-blockchain-and-xrp-an-interview-with-yoshitaka-kitao/ So how does the R3 and Ripple relationship work? Last month Data Dimension had a presentation a slide that is rather revealing on the partnership. https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/15381/262389?utm_campaign=knowledge-feed&utm_source=brighttalk-portal&utm_medium=web Both work in unison with Corda being applied for smart contracts while Ripple is meant for the payments segment which might explain why R3 wanted that XRP so bad............ Edit: UPDATE: 12-5-2018 https://www.coindesk.com/r3s-new-corda-app-supports-payments-in-xrp-cryptocurrency
***IF YOU HAVE NOT YET, PLEASE READ MY PREVIOUS THREADS ON THE GATES FOUNDATION AND INDIA*** Unlike in India, there is no singular centralized effort driving Ripple adoption but more of a collected effort done by multiple parties. However, most of these parties are being guided and aided by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in each of their respective ventures. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) The MAS is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority. Compared to other central banks, MAS has been proactive when involving trialing and adopting new financial technology. Last year MAS established a fintech regulatory sandbox intended to MAS intentions is to create a space that promotes the exploration of fintech and avoid An outcome that MAS says is "undesirable" as there are promising innovations waiting to be taken advantage of. http://www.mas.gov.sg/Singapore-Financial-Centre/Smart-Financial-Centre/FinTech-Regulatory-Sandbox.aspx http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Media-Releases/2016/MAS-Issues-Regulatory-Sandbox-Guidelines-for-FinTech-Experiments.aspx On top of hosting the regulatory sandbox, MAS conducted "Project Ubin". The project, which consisted of a group of Singaporean banks, served as a prototype payment system utilizing distributed ledger technology that allowed bank users to exchange currency with one another without long processing fees, intermediaries, or expensive processing fees. Along with the banks and MAS, R3 also participated in the project. http://www.mas.gov.sg/~/media/ProjectUbin/Project Ubin SGD on Distributed Ledger.pdf With the conclusion of phase one, MAS has plans for two spinoff projects. The first project, driven by the Singapore Exchange (SGX), focuses on making the fixed income securities trading and settlement cycle more efficient through DLT. While the second project focuses on new methods to conduct cross border payments using central bank digital currency. Along with that, http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Media-Releases/2017/MAS-working-with-industry-to-apply-Distributed-Ledger-Technology.aspx (keep this in mind, MAS are in discussions with other central banks on using DLT for cross-border payments) But where is Ripple on all this? During MAS's sandbox initiative, Ripple was sought as a consultant for the project. https://ripple.com/files/ripple_mas_sandbox_consultation_07_2016.pdf https://ripple.com/files/ripple_comments_mas_ppf.pdf Along with that, Ravi Menon (Managing Director of MAS), praised Ripple for having a solution to real-time gross settlement, currency exchange, and remittance thru DLT. https://ripple.com/insights/singapores-continued-investment-in-banking-innovation/ And in Project Ubin's latest report, Ripple was mentioned in their future focus section for Phase 2 of Project Ubin. Deloitte (a contributor to the project and a partner of Ripple) mentions the prototype integrating the Ripple blockchain to allow Person-to-Person (P2P) transactions across geographies. So to summarize MAS's future ventures, 1. They want to connect with other central banks thru DLT for cross border payments 2. The Ripple blockchain has been integrated into the prototype to be used for cross border transactions Onto the Middle East........... Bahrain The nation of Bahrain thru the leadership of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB), has been tasked to lay the foundation for a national adoption of blockchain technology. Bahrain wants to position itself as a leader in financial technology just as how Singapore has become. Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of the EDB, has stated that https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/kingdom-bahrain-aims-country-level-blockchain-adoption/ Meanwhile the government also wants to establish a ‘regulatory sandbox’ that would serve as a regulator-friendly space that complies with Bahrain laws to enable research and testing of new Fintech products and innovations specific to the region’s requirements. If this is all sounding similar, it's for good reason. The EDB is drawing inspiration from none other than Singapore/MAS's blockchain pilot project, "Project Ubin". https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/kingdom-bahrain-aims-country-level-blockchain-adoption/ And to take it even further, EDB has held discussions with MAS on deploying a pilot blockchain project and has even signed a partnership with the Singapore FinTech Consortium. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/bahrain-signs-fintech-pact-singapore-amid-plan-country-level-blockchain-adoption/ http://infocoin.net/en/2017/03/02/singapore-and-bahrain-plan-to-build-a-blockchain-pilot-project/ http://www.arabianbusiness.com/bahrain-in-talks-with-singapore-on-blockchain-pilot-665012.html So the fintech environment is beginning to resemble the Singaporean environment while also being shaped by the Singaporean Consortium and possibly MAS. Along with that development, blockchain has already begun it's penetration into the Bahrain's banking system thru Bank ABC. Bank ABC, formerly known as the Arab Banking Corporation, became the first financial institution in the MENA region to join the R3 blockchain consortium. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/bahrain-bank-first-mena-region-join-r3-blockchain-consortium/ There also has been one interesting development in the nation with one of Ripple's partners. Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Tata Group has a number of subsidiaries that include Tata Communications and Tata Consultancy Services. Ripple and Tata thru Tata Consultancy Services's TCS BaNCS have cooperated with another in India to provide financial solutions for Indian banks. We also know thru employee profiles, that there have been experiments with Ripple's technology in processing cross border payments. Interesting enough, we know Tata Consultancy Services has also launched an Aadhaar enabled payment platform allows retailers integrate payments across multiple channels through a single interface. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/tata-consultancy-services-starts-aadhar-enabled-payment-platform/articleshow/58361092.cms Just recently Tata Communications was chosen by Balteco as a cloud partner by utilizing Tata Communications’ IZO™ Cloud Enablement Platform. The significance of this partnership is simple. Batleco, which was established by the government, is the principal telecommunications company in Bahrain. As of today, Batelco remains majority state-owned by the Mumtalakat (Bahrain's sovereign wealth found). And the company itself remains as the majority telecommunications provider for the state. The infrastructure is being laid out..... http://batelco.com/news-media/batelco-and-tata-communications-sign-agreement-to-expand-the-reach-of-their-global-connectivity-data-centre-solutions-for-customers/ And as an update on Bahrain's "sandbox", it has opened this past summer with two tech firms already entering it. NOW Money (who Dilip Rao seems to be a fan of) and Tramonex being those two tech firms, were assisted and advised by the EDB to register into the regulatory "sandbox". http://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/banking-finance/377682-first-two-tech-firms-enter-new-bahrain-sandbox On NOWMoney, http://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/banking-finance/377682-first-two-tech-firms-enter-new-bahrain-sandbox On Tramonex, http://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/banking-finance/377682-first-two-tech-firms-enter-new-bahrain-sandbox https://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/fintech-nowmoney-migrant-workers Tramonex has recently begun to test cross currency payments on blockchain. http://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/innovation/tramonex-gets-approved-uk-regulator-issue-currency-blockchain/ https://bankinnovation.net/2017/02/tramonex-to-use-smart-contracts-for-cross-currency-money-transfer/ UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Similar to Bahrain, the UAE is striving to become a fintech pioneer. Dubai in particular wants to become the first fully blockchained-powered city in the world. This challenged, backed by the UAE government, is undergone by the Smart Dubai Office (SDO). https://cointelegraph.com/news/suddenly-dubai-aims-to-become-first-blockchain-powered-city-by-2020 In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) was established by the government to be an international financial center for local, regional and international institutions. And for the past year, it has been extremely active in both the cross border payments space and the fintech realm. This past February, the ADGM and the central bank of Bahrain (CCB) signed legislature intended https://www.adgm.com/mediacentre/press-releases/abu-dhabi-global-market-and-central-bank-of-bahrain-form-partnership-to-enhance-cross-border-cooperation/ Along with forming a partnership with CBB, ADGM has also signed an agreement with none other than MAS. The collaboration between both parties is focused on fintech innovation and cross-border activity. http://fintech.adgm.com/adgm-and-the-mas-collaborate-to-foster-fintech-innovation-and-cross-border-activities/ And ADGM themselves also has it's own regulatory sandbox which consists of five participants. With the most notable participant being.....NOW Money. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/17/abu-dhabi-global-market-admits-first-five-fintech-start-ups-into-its-reglab-sandbox.html Along with all of this, ADGM has also joined the R3 blockchain consortium. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/abu-dhabi-regulator-joins-r3-blockchain-consortium/ http://www.econotimes.com/ADGM-becomes-first-regulatory-body-in-MENA-region-to-join-R3-blockchain-consortium-712252 We are also aware that Ripple themselves have made partnerships with multiple financial institutions in the nation, with one being with UAE Exchange. UAE Exchange is a major UAE Forex and remittance house. The CEO of UAE Exchange, Promoth Manghat, commenting on the collaboration https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/uae-remittance-giant-taps-ripple-instant-blockchain-international-payments/ The UAE Exchange themselves are part of some notable collaborations. Just this past summer the UAE Exchange and the ADGM signed an agreement to support, develop and promote the FinTech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. http://timesofoman.com/article/114869/Business/UAE-Exchange-signs-pact-with-Abu-Dhabi-Global-Market But the most interesting collaboration (in my opinion) that the UAE Exchange is a part of is it's membership in the Indian "Bankchain" consortium. The very same blockchain consortium in India that I had previously mentioned in my prior post on India. https://www.coindesk.com/indias-bankchain-consortium-launches-blockchain-kyc-system/ Even more interesting, the UAE Exchange has already developed a digital payment platform called XPay Wallet that is already integrated to the UPI Service (Aadhaar). http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/uae-exchange-launches-xpay-wallet/article7480861.ece http://www.financialexpress.com/economy/uae-exchange-backs-govt-on-demonetisation-through-xpay-cash-wallet/443279/ http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2017/04/18/8528945.htm There is also has been activity with some UAE banks with the most publicized Ripple partnership in the nation being the one with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). https://www.nbad.com/en-ae/about-nbad/overview/newsroom/2017/01-02-2017.html But there is one other bank in the country conducting blockchain trials that has ties to Ripple, Emirates NBD. Back in 2015, Emirates NBD and Ripple collaborated with one another shown by this Emirates NBD presentation. https://www.infosys.com/confluence/PublishingImages/17/v2/presentation/Blockchain_Emirates NBD.pdf Emirates NBD has also recently been trialing cross-border transactions on blockchain technology with ICICI Bank under theguidance of the central bank of the UAE. https://www.coindesk.com/emirates-icici-complete-cross-border-blockchain-transaction/ https://www.coindesk.com/emirates-nbd-enlists-uae-central-bank-blockchain-check-trial/ Also Infosys who is cooperating with both Emirates NBD and ICICI Bank for their blockchain trial, is very positive on Ripple technology as well. https://www.infosys.com/industries/cards-and-payments/resources/Documents/digital-bank-blue-ocean-opportunity.pdf On one final note, Tata Communications also seems be laying the foundation in the nation as well by providing the infrastructure thru the IZO Cloud Service. http://www.itp.net/613631-tata-communications-expands-izo-private-cloud-footprint-in-the-uae There you have it, central banks, regulatory authorities, banks, exchanges, and fintech firms all working together from three different countries. The best part is, there is at least one more nation in the Arabian peninsula worth mentioning in a later post........ EDIT The Saudi central bank is working with the United Arab Emirates central bank to issue a digital currency that would be accepted in cross-border transactions between the two countries, UAE central bank governor Mubarak Rashed al-Mansouri told Reuters in December. https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1FZ0LD?__twitter_impression=true UAE and India have reached a historic agreement which will enable businesses on both sides to bypass the US dollar or any other currency https://t.co/RUwGxwOV0A?amp=1
Ripple included in their ecosystem https://bitsonblocks.net/2017/11/14/mas-just-released-corda-for-central-banks-so-what/?fb_action_ids=1963092917298418&fb_action_types=news.publishes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=&action_type_map=[&utm_content=buffer4703d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer Page 63 mentioned ripple http://www.mas.gov.sg/~/media/ProjectUbin/Project Ubin Phase 2 Reimagining RTGS.pdf