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Singapore’s Central Bank, DBS, JPMorgan Collaborate to Explore Uses of Digital Assets, Defi

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has partnered with major banks and financial services companies to explore the uses of asset tokenization and decentralized finance (defi). DBS Bank and JPMorgan will pilot the first project.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, announced Tuesday that it has partnered with the financial services industry to launch Project Guardian. The central bank described Project Guardian as “a collaborative initiative with the financial industry that seeks to explore the economic potential and value-adding use cases of asset tokenization” and decentralized finance (defi).

Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s deputy prime minister and coordinating minister for economic policies, announced the commencement of Project Guardian Tuesday at the Asia Tech x Singapore Summit.

“The first industry pilot under Project Guardian will explore potential defi applications in wholesale funding markets,” the MAS detailed, adding:

The pilot, led by DBS Bank Ltd., JP Morgan, and Marketnode, involves the creation of a permissioned liquidity pool comprising tokenized bonds and deposits.

“The pilot aims to carry out secured borrowing and lending on a public blockchain-based network through execution of smart contracts,” the MAS continued.

Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at the central bank, explained that the MAS is “closely monitoring innovations and growth in the digital asset ecosystem and working through the potential opportunities and risks that come with new technologies — to consumers, investors, and the financial system at large.”

He noted: “The learnings from Project Guardian will serve to inform policy markets on the regulatory guardrails that are needed to harness the benefits of defi while mitigating its risks.”

Han Kwee Juan, head of group planning and strategy at DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, commented:

DBS is pleased to lead the charge to explore potential digital assets and use of defi concepts that will enhance efficiency and scalability in trading, clearing, and settlement; while managing risks to financial stability and integrity.

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