Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a blockchain project to make cross-border securities transactions in Asia-Pacific more efficient.

Fast facts

  • The regional development bank of 68 member countries is aiming to use blockchain to directly connect central banks and securities depositories in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region plus Japan, China and South Korea (ASEAN+3). 
  • Currently cross-border securities transactions in ASEAN+3 are processed through global centers in the United States or Europe, and take at least two days to settle. 
  • By directly connecting the central banks, ADB with blockchain companies including ConsenSys, Fujitsu, R3 and Soramitsu are seeking to reduce transaction costs and settlement risks, the bank stated in its press release. 
  • The scope of the project also includes evaluating systems interoperability and the viability of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the region.
  • The project’s design phase is expected to be completed by the end of March 2022 and the prototype phase the following quarter. 
  • Banks are increasingly innovating with blockchain technology, which powers most cryptocurrencies and enables secure, transparent and immutable transactions without third parties. Fifty-five of the world’s largest 100 banks are investing in the crypto and blockchain space, according to an Aug. 2021 report by Blockdata.