Home Strategy CBA selected by World Bank to deliver first blockchain bond
CBA selected by World Bank to deliver first blockchain bond Featured

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has been selected by the World Bank to issue a "world first" bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed using blockchain technology.

The deal sees CBA mandated by the World Bank to be the sole arranger for the $A Kangaroo bond – referred to as the "bond-i" blockchain offered new debt instrument.

CBA says the bond has been developed with the support and input of the investor community, including Northern Trust, QBE and Treasury Corporation of Victoria – and once launched it 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 and Markets International, CBA, said: “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.”

Wall said the CBA fully supports the World Bank’s 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.

The CBA noted that, as part of its mandate to reduce poverty and promote lasting development, the World Bank issues between US$50 billion to US$60 billion annually in bonds for sustainable development – and is increasing its focus on helping countries transition to sustainable economies that are technology-led, while exploring the benefits of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain.

Sophie Gilder, head of Blockchain, Innovation Labs, CBA, said: “We know blockchain has the potential to revolutionise financial services and markets, and this transaction is a significant step towards that future state. By working collaboratively with the World Bank, we were able to find solutions to technical and legal considerations to make this ground breaking transaction a reality.

“Since our first bond transaction in 1947, innovation has been an important hallmark of our success with leveraging capital markets for development,” said Arunma Oteh, World Bank treasurer.

“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.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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