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Singapore, Americas Shake on Blockchain in FinTech Pact

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM

Singapore’s central bank and the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas (ASBA) are coming together to strengthen FinTech ties between Singapore and the Americas.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s financial regulator and central bank, has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ASBA, an organization that supervises and promotes banking practices in America with the aim to keep them up to international standards.

“FinTech is fundamentally about ideas and enterprise flowing between cities,” explained MAS FinTech chief Sopnendu Mohanty.

The MoU establishes a framework between the two authorities in their mutual interests in financial technologies. More specifically, the framework will see both authorities engage in joint innovation projects, particularly in blockchain technology and big data. Further, the MAS and the ABSA will also discuss and look into emerging FinTech trends.

“This MOU embodies MAS’ and ASBA’s resolve in accelerating the growth of FinTech in the respective regions, through increased collaboration and exchanges between our respective FinTech ecosystems,” Mohanty added.

The MAS is arguably the global trailblazer among central banks to successfully develop and test blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the island nation’s central bank announced the completion of an early phase its proof-of-concept interbank payments blockchain. More recently, details emerged that this blockchain was powered by a central bank-developed digital currency using Ethereum’s blockchain technology.

Other countries are taking notice and have made inroads toward establishing FinTech ties with Singapore, a country which they see as setting the precedent in researching and exploring new financial innovations. The likes of India, South Korea,  Abu Dhabi, Japan, France and Switzerland, are all collaborating with Singapore’s central bank. The monetary authority’s partnership with the ASBA in the American continents represents its farthest partnership yet.

ASBA secretary general Rudy Araujo sees the potential of financial technologies like blockchain to “progressively change” the twin continents’ financial ecosystem.

He added:

Thus, by uniting efforts with the MAS, we expect to support the development of a regulatory and supervisory framework that while supporting financial stability, nurtures innovation, and promotes market transparency and proper conduct.

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