The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday signed an agreement with the Indian state of Maharashtra to explore joint opportunities in the field of blockchain technology and innovation.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will allow the Singapore market regulator and the Indian state to further enhance cooperation on the applications of blockchain. The MoU also covers other areas of fintech innovation in the two markets, including mobile payments, digitization, and Big Data.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS, commented:
“Singapore and India have been longstanding partners on many fronts. This agreement paves the way for greater FinTech collaboration between Singapore and Maharashtra. The creation of a Centre of Excellence and marketplace for FinTech solutions in Maharashtra could create more opportunities for Singapore-based FinTech firms.”
Under the deal, both institutions have committed to share information and allow regulators to draft rules that will benefit the financial industry.
The cooperation provides for the creation of a marketplace by the government of Maharashtra for fintech solutions developed in Singapore and at the Mumbai-based Centre of Excellence. The new synergy will open opportunities for Singapore’s fintech startups to establish business relationships with their counterparts at the Mumbai fintech hub.
The city-state of Singapore is at the forefront of research to understand the potential of blockchain. It is also among the leaders in utilizing blockchain technology. The MAS has been pouring significant resources into blockchain-based solutions.
If Project Ubin comes to fruition, Singapore will have its first digital currency this year The initiative is scheduled for its fifth and final phase completion.
The second phase wrapped up in November last year, when a prototype based on three blockchain platforms was tested by at least 11 major banks: Citi Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, DBS Bank, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Standard Chartered Bank, OCBC Bank, Singapore Exchange, United Overseas Bank, and HSBC.
Early this month, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced that the government has no plans to impose a ban on cryptocurrency trading. However, he said that authorities would continue to monitor digital currency trading for potential money-laundering and other criminal activities to protect the public interest.