World Bank Taps Australia's CommBank to Issue Its First Blockchain Bond

CBA gets into debt over blockchain for World Bank

CBA and World Bank are using a private Ethereum blockchain for this project.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) will continue its digital innovation by issuing the first bond created, allocated, transferred and managed on blockchain technology after being awarded the project by the World Bank.

The World Bank and the CBA said indicative interest in the blockchain-operated new debt instrument, nicknamed "bond-i" after the beach, had been strong.

As part of its mandate to reduce poverty and promote lasting development, the World Bank annually issues between $50 billion and $60 billion in bonds for sustainable development.

Arunma Oteh, World Bank Treasurer, added: "We are delighted that after a year of working with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, we are in a position to launch our first blockchain bond transaction".

The release noted that both the World Bank and the CBA are now using a private Ethereum blockchain, but they are receptive to alternative blockchain platforms. According to CBA, the aim of Bond-I is to have key parties in a bond issuance process such as investors and banks nodes to participate in a distributed network, enabling more efficient transaction and capital raising process. It also improves operational efficiencies and enhances regulatory oversight, the World Bank said in a press release announcing the new bond. It has an extensive experience of innovations in the capital markets and was the first to launch a globally traded bond in 1989 and a fully integrated e-bond in 2000.

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Firms including Northern Trust, QBE Insurance and the Treasury Corporation of Victoria supported the bond's development, while CBA Innovation Lab's Blockchain Centre of Excellence designed and developed the blockchain platform.

The global financial institution - formed with a mandate to provide loans for capital projects in countries around the world - underlined blockchain's "potential to streamline processes among numerous debt capital market intermediaries and agents" to improve operational efficiencies and regulatory oversight.

An independent review of the CBA blockchain platform's architecture, security and resilience was conducted by Microsoft.

In Washington, bond can run by World Bank using Microsoft's Azure, a cloud computing platform.

A woman walks past a Commonwealth Bank of Australia logo and ATM in Sydney, Australia, February 7, 2018.

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