A two-day conference will see notable Asian banking giants along with other participants and developers of blockchain technology outline their use cases for the innovation.
Singapore will host the ‘Blockchain for Finance Conference, Asia Pacific’ with a number of significant financial institutions participating in the event. The conference, held on June 20-21, will see banks, credit unions and building societies, among other companies from various industries to discuss and evaluate the use-cases and proof-of-concept prototypes of blockchain-based applications.
Hosted by the FinTech network, the event’s speakers include representatives from two of Japan’s ‘megabanks’ in the Mizuho Financial Group and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (MUF); the director of research from banking blockchain consortium R3; the deputy director of Singapore’s central bank as well as several officials from financial institutions in Europe and beyond.
Japan’s Megabanks: Big on Blockchain
Tokyo-based MUFG could become the first bank in the world to issue its own digital currency based on blockchain technology, later this year. The financial institution first revealed plans for a digital currency in early 2016 before confirming tests toward the middle of the year and again in late 2016. As Japan’s largest bank, MUFG notably invested in bitcoin exchange Coinbase, as the US-based crypto-trading platform looks to expand in Japan. MUFG is also conducting a trial for check digitization over a blockchain in Singapore, making use of the central bank’s Fintech regulatory sandbox.
Mizuho has also tested its own digital currency after partnering with technology giant IBM. The banking giant recently concluded a trial involving document sharing and cross-border digital currency settlements among affiliate companies over a distrtibued ledger. Alongside MUFG, Mizuho is also a partner in Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange, bitFlyer. The banks have already conducted domestic money transfers over a blockchain developed by the bitcoin exchange. The successful proof-of-concept ran for nine months till September 2016 and clocked 1,500 transactions per second on bitFlyer’s proprietary blockchain ‘miyabi’, beating the peak speeds that the current interbank wire system is capable of.
China Construction Bank, the world’s second-largest bank by assets and the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, a Singapore-based financial services giant will join the Japanese banking giants in revealing their blockchain strategies.
From a regulatory standpoint, the deputy director of Singapore’s central bank will discuss the plethora of patent filings by major financial institutions and its impact on blockchain developments going forward. A Standards Australia official will address the effort of developing international standards for interoperability of the innovation, a significant factor toward its wider adoption. As the country’s national standards authority, Standards Australia was tasked by the ISO (international Organization for Standardization) to take develop uniform global standards for blockchain technology late last year.
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