Singapore Starts Two New Token Pilots With Standard Chartered, HSBC and Others

The two new pilots will focus on using DeFi in trade finance and wealth management.

AccessTimeIconNov 2, 2022 at 5:44 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 3, 2022 at 3:34 p.m. UTC

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it is starting two new pilot projects to explore the use of tokens in trade finance and wealth management.

The first pilot is being lead by Standard Chartered (STAN) to explore tokens for trade finance, and another pilot to look at tokenization of wealth management products. The wealth management pilot involves HSBC (HSBC), UOB working with Marketnode, a digital asset platform built by the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and Temasek.

“By transforming trade assets into transferable instruments, we aim to improve the accessibility to an asset class – which has largely been the domain of banks – with participation from a broader range of investors," said Kai Fehr, global head of trade and working capital at Standard Chartered. "Not only can we potentially narrow the $1.7 trillion global trade finance gap, this also offers investors the option to balance their portfolio with a digital token that has traceable intrinsic value,” he added.

The central bank also announced on Wednesday the successful completion of the first trades using tokenized versions of the yen and the Singapore dollar, as well as government bond securities. The program was started to test the application of decentralized finance (DeFi), where financial activities are carried out on a blockchain without the use of third parties, in the wholesale funding market, which are used by banks to maintain liquidity.

The project involved Singapore’s DBS Bank, JPMorgan (JPM) and Japan’s SBI Digital, along with Marketnode, and was developed and deployed on the Polygon blockchain.

Han Kwee Juan, group head of strategy and planning at DBS, told CoinDesk in an interview how the major banks can use DeFi to carry out traditional financial activities.

“We wanted to show it was possible to tokenize government securities and cash within a DeFi liquidity pool,” said Han. “Then, using an [automated market maker], and solving for that with price oracles and market data streaming services from Bloomberg or Refinitiv, we wanted to create an institutional-grade DeFi venue which regulators would be comfortable with.”

UPDATE (Nov. 2, 07:06 UTC): Adds comment from Standard Chartered in third paragraph.

UPDATE (Nov. 2, 06:20 UTC): Updates headline and story throughout, adds new information.

UPDATE (Nov. 3, 15:34 UTC): Adds mention of Polygon in sixth paragraph.


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Parikshit Mishra

Parikshit Mishra is CoinDesk's Deputy Managing Editor responsible for breaking news coverage. He does not have any crypto holdings.