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Singapore’s monetary authority (MAS) has announced the launch of a pilot project, Project Guardian. It has partnered with DBS, JPMorgan, and Marketnode. The partnership prospects for the potential growth of the economy and uses cases of digital assets in asset tokenisation and decentralised finance (DeFi). The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat, launched Project Guardian during the Asia Tech Singapore Summit.

Elements of Project Guardian

Tokenisation involves representing assets in a digital form via a smart contract on the blockchain. It facilitates the exchange of assets in the real economy those of high financial value over peer-to-peer digital platforms. Its application on smart contracts enables Decentralised Finance (DeFi) as a financial service provider. The performance of these transactions is autonomous on a blockchain without requiring any intermediaries. It has the prospective enhancing efficiency, affordability, and accessibility to grow the financial markets’ liquidity and incorporate economic inclusion.

Project Guardian explores the viability of applications in tokenisation of assets and DeFi and coping with financial steadiness and integrity risks. There are four primary areas MAS seeks to focus its project. These include open, interoperable networks, trust anchors, asset tokenisation, and Institutional Grade DeFi protocols.

The MAS shall inspect the public blockchain’s utility in developing open, interoperable networks that facilitate the trading of digital assets across various platforms and liquidity pools. The interoperability also includes existing financial infrastructure. The open and interoperable networks diminish the emergence of walled gardens that restrict a range of information in digital exchanges and some private markets. Independent trust anchors enable a reliable and trustworthy environment when executing DeFi protocols. These trust anchors operate in a regulated financial institution with authorisation to screen, validate, and distribute validated credentials to parties willing to engage in DeFi protocols.

Asset tokenisation allows representing securities as digital assets and using tokenised deposits. These are on public blockchains in institutions. Project Guardian seeks to develop existing token standards, assimilate trust anchor credentials and facilitate interoperability of asset-backed tokens with digital assets in DeFi protocols over the open networks. In scrutinising the introduction of regulatory frameworks and controls into Institutional grade DeFi protocols, it mitigates operational risks and market influence. The commencing project studies the audit capabilities of smart contracts to detect vulnerabilities of codes.

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Wholesale funding markets is the first initiative of Project Guardian. MAS will explore prospective DeFi applications in these markets. A permission liquidity pool of tokenised deposits and bonds will assist the public blockchain-based network in securing borrowing and lending. This will be through the execution of smart contracts.

MAS appreciates further initiatives in the industry. It is particularly keen on initiatives that align with Project Guardian’s four primary areas of interest. Other than Project Guardian, MAS is willing to involve itself in digital asset initiatives from the industry. It has requested all interested parties to submit their bids to the Regulatory Sandbox. These proposals shall be put up for live experimentation by MAS. Its Chief FinTech Officer, Mr. Sopnendu Mohanty, declared that MAS is actively interested in innovations and developments in the digital assets ecosystem. It shall analyse the potential possibilities and risks of new technologies. Its analysis is the impact on consumers and investors within its ecosystem. It shall also look into the financial system broadly. The Chief FinTech Officer mentions that the authority requires feasible experimentation of the financial industry and its broad ecosystem. This assists in having a deep understanding of the ever-transforming ecosystem of digital assets. He highlighted that the findings from Project Guardian will inform policy markets. There shall be a regulatory framework to derive the merits of DeFi and diminish its risks.

MAS Partnerships in Project Guardian

Marketnode, JP Morgan, and DBS lead Project Guardian. DBS and JP Morgan have experience in building digital assets and blockchain technology into wholesale banking. DBS had issued a USD 11.3 Million in digital bonds in a security token offering(STO). JPMorgan has the Onyx Digital Assets Network where trading of tokens in a fixed income market has garnered over USD 300 Billion since launching in 2020. Han Kwee Juan, Group Head of Strategy and Planning, DBS, stated that these initial probes in DeFi solutions ensure Singapore has competitiveness and relevance as a world-class financial centre.

CEO of Onyx by J.P. Morgan, Uman Farooq underlines that JPMorgan’s co-innovation with MAS will lead to plenty of industry-first products and tokenised deposits on a public blockchain. It is a significant milestone in Singapore. Martin Pickrodt, CEO of Marketnode, mentions that Marketnode’s collaboration with MAS, DBS, and JPMorgan in Project Guardian seeks to tackle existing market issues leveraging many advantages that technologies of asset tokenisation and DeFi protocols offer.

Summing it up

Crypto Lists believes these developments are in hand with the central bank of a world-class financial centre. It provides momentum in adopting digital assets and learning about blockchains by traditional financial institutions.

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