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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