Tech 10 August 2018

Cecille de Jesus

World Bank taps Australia’s biggest bank for world’ first fully blockchain-based bond

In a press release today, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia—Australia’s largest bank—announced that they have been tapped by the World Bank to arrange the world’s first fully blockchain processed bond.

“Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has been mandated by the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD rated Aaa/AAA), to be the sole arranger of the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed using blockchain technology,” they wrote in the media release.

“The $AUD Kangaroo bond, termed ‘bond-i’ – Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument – has been developed with the support and input of the investor community including Northern Trust, QBE and Treasury Corporation of Victoria. Once launched the bond will be issued and distributed on a blockchain platform operated by the World Bank and CBA in Washington and Sydney, respectively.”

James Wall, Executive General Manager of Institutional Banking & Markets International, CBA said that this project is a “groundbreaking demonstration” of the power of blockchain technology.

“We take a collaborative approach to innovating and have a track record of partnering with other leading financial institutions, government bodies and corporates to innovate through blockchain. We believe that this transaction will be groundbreaking as a demonstration of how blockchain technology can act as a facilitating platform for different participants,” he said.

“We are delighted to have partnered with the World Bank and fully support its vision of making innovative use of technology such as blockchain to increase the efficiency of financing solutions to better achieve their goal to end extreme poverty.”

Arunma Oteh, World Bank Treasurer, says that this partnership is in line with the World Bank’s pledge to continuous innovation—a hallmark for the institution since issuing its first bond in1947.

“Since our first bond transaction in 1947, innovation has been an important hallmark of our success with leveraging capital markets for development. Given the transformative role of emerging technologies, we continue to prudently seek opportunities for us to meet investor needs as well as the needs of our clients. I am therefore delighted that after a year of working with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, we are in a position to launch our first blockchain bond transaction. Microsoft’s experience and support have also been instrumental to achieving this historic milestone. Our sincere appreciation to our pioneer blockchain bond investors, who are partnering with us on this transaction because of our common desire to strengthen markets, improve efficiency and transparency, and enable more robust issuance processes. Our goal is to continue to harness innovation for the benefit of markets and our mission of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.”

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