World Bank Prices Blockchain Bond at A$100M

Jermaine Castillo
August 27, 2018

The World Bank has priced what it deems the "world's first public blockchain bond" at AUD$100 million ($73 million) in a settlement to occur next week.

The World Bank said the bond was the first in the world to be "created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology".

The bond-i blockchain platform was built and developed by the CBA Blockchain Centre of Excellence, housed in the Sydney Innovation Lab. "We were no doubt successful in moving from concept to reality because these high-quality investors understood the value of leveraging technology for innovation in capital markets". With the entrant of the World Bank in the blockchain space, the technology may get the big break it needs.

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Investors included Commonwealth Bank of Australia, First State Super, Northern Trust Corp and Treasury Corp of Victoria.

According to CBA, one of Australia's big four banks, specifics have started to materialize on the project, as the bond-i is now pegged at a two-year maturity term and is set to rake in a 2.251 percent yield.

Interestingly the World Bank press release did not mention a launch date and it is not clear just how close they are to an issue.

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We welcome the huge interest that this transaction has generated from various stakeholders and will continue to seek ways to leverage emerging technologies to make capital markets more secure and efficient.

The announcement follows the bank's head of blockchain Sophie Gilder revealing in December that CBA was expecting to be the first to implement the issuance of a bond on the blockchain. In short, the new blockchain bond will do everything as such within seconds and on the internet.

The World Bank has launched a blockchain-only bond. The bank's general manager also went on to echo the sentiments of the World Bank Treasurer in saying that the experiment was a success.

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Microsoft Corp was an independent code reviewer for the bond offering, while TD Securities served as market maker. Last year, the CBA Innovation Lab issued a government bond for the Queensland Treasury Corporation. Earlier this month the Australian bank announced it had been selected by the World Bank to issue the blockchain bond after more than 12 months of development. These "kangaroo bonds" are the bonds which are issued by foreign institutions using the Australian dollar.

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