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JPMorgan and DBS to launch blockchain cross-border payment platform

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Major American investment bank JPMorgan is working with Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, and state investment firm Temasek to launch a new blockchain company focused on global payments and interbank transactions.

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Dubbed Partior, the new firm will use blockchain technology and digitize commercial bank money to reduce the existing friction in cross-border payments, trade transactions and foreign exchange settlements. 

Such functionality would enable instant settlement of payments for various types of transactions, helping banks overcome global payment-related challenges in the current financial system, JPMorgan said in a Wednesday announcement.

The new platform builds on JPMorgan and Temasek’s past work as part of Project Ubin, a blockchain-based multi-currency payment initiative initiated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2017. Partior’s platform will launch with a focus on facilitating flows mainly between Singapore-based banks in both the United States dollar and the Singapore dollar, aiming to extend service offerings to other markets in various currencies.

The platform aims to complement ongoing central bank digital currency projects and use cases, the announcement notes. MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said that Partior provides a foundational global infrastructure for transacting with digital currencies. “The launch of Partior is a global watershed moment for digital currencies, marking a move from pilots and experimentations towards commercialisation and live adoption,” he said.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta stated that blockchain technology and smart contracts will enable Partior to support “real-time cross-border multi-currency payments, trade finance, foreign exchange and DVP securities settlements on a world-class platform, with programmability, immutability, traceability built into its suite of services.”

All three Partior project participants are consolidating their involvement in the cryptocurrency industry. In late 2020, DBS established a crypto exchange division called DBS Digital Exchange, allowing investors to trade major coins like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and XRP.

JPMorga reportedly started hiring Ethereum developers in April. The company is also rumored to be preparing to launch an actively managed Bitcoin fund. As reported in March, Temasek is allegedly a Bitcoin investor.

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