Philippines Launches Bond Distribution Platform on Blockchain

The initiative is receiving support from regional international regulators.

The Philippine Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) has partnered with Union Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) to launch a decentralized ledger technology (DLT)-based platform for the distribution of retail treasury bonds.

Announced on Monday, the app called Bonds.PH will allow the investors to buy retail treasury bonds for a minimum of $100 and will allow payments using e-wallets, online banking, and over-the-counter (OTC).

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“The launch of Bonds.PH paves the way for all Filipinos, particularly the unbanked, to easily and affordably invest in the BTr’s newest retail treasury bond, RTB-24 or the Progreso Bonds.,” Philippine National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon said in a statement. “The mobile app presents a compelling opportunity for all to invest and help the Republic raise funds for economic recovery and COVID-19 response.”

Notably, the platform will record transactions in both the DLT infrastructure as well as on the legacy centralized system.

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This, according to UnionBank President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista, is the first such DLT-based system in Asia and likely in the world for retail treasury bond distribution.

“The Philippines is ready to lead the way into the future and tech up the nation with innovative, inclusive opportunities, powered by emerging technologies, for the benefit of all Filipinos,” Bautista added.

Support from national and international regulators

The bond issuance platform is also receiving support from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and also from the Singaporean market regulator and other blockchain and fintech association in the city-state.

“2020 will be the year of commercialization of blockchain technology in the ASEAN region, and BTr’s efforts to build a DLT registry for bond issuance accelerates the success of the most exciting technology of our time,” MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said.

“The blockchain community in Singapore will work together with the Philippines to share learnings, open-source resources, and also facilitate connecting corresponding nodes to integrate market infrastructure for transparency and interoperability.”

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