ADB to secure cross-border securities transaction system via blockchain

Manila, Jan 26 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday that it seeks to develop ways to directly connect central banks and securities depositories in the ASEAN+3 region within a blockchain network.

The ASEAN+3 region consists of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the Manila-based bank, directly connecting the institutions within a blockchain network could reduce transaction costs and settlement risks, the possibility that securities are not exchanged within an agreed time frame.

Cross-border securities transactions in the ASEAN+3 region are currently processed through a global network of custodians and correspondent banks, which go through global centres in either the US or Europe.

“As a result, intraregional transaction settlements in ASEAN+3 take at least two days, due to time differences as well as varying operating hours for markets within the same time zone,” the ADB said.

The regional development bank said the move will be discussed with ASEAN+3 government officials and members of the Cross-Border Settlement Infrastructure Forum of the Asian Bond Markets Initiative, made up of central banks and securities depositories from across the region.