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World Bank has launched the world’s first public blockchain bond

World Bank

The World Bank has raised $100 million (56.84 million pounds) from the first public offering of a blockchain bond created and managed by using blockchain. It is a deal intended to test how the technology might enhance traditional bond sales practices.

The lone manager of the deal, Commonwealth Bank of Australia stated that the two-year bonds are priced to yield 2.251 per cent and would settle on August 28. The comparatively modest size of the issue along with the Australian market’s transparency and limited investment base will allow observers to evaluate the deliverability and practicality of the new technology.

The deal labelled as “Bondi” bond, stands for Blockchain Operated New Debt Instrument as well as a reference to Australia’s famous beach. It is being observed as the first step in steering bond sales away from manual methods towards cheaper and faster automation.

The World Bank, whose bonds have an AAA rating, typically uses its borrowing power to assist enhancing new bond markets as well as innovating new measures for trading and selling the securities. It grants between $50 billion and $60 billion a year of bonds to support economic growth in developing nations.

James Wall, Executive general manager at CBA, said in an interview “You’re collapsing a traditional bond issuance from a manual book build method and allocation method, an extended settlement then a custodian and a registrar, into something that could happen online instantaneously.”

Australia is a popular test location for market improvements because of its well-established financial infrastructure and the understanding of international investors with the Australian dollar, which is one of the most-exchanged currencies in the world.

CBA has priced the “kangaroo” deal at 23 basis points above the benchmark prices. Kangaroo bonds are the bonds which are issued in Australian dollars by foreign organisations.  

While there have been other prototype blockchain projects earlier in the market, CBA stated that the World Bank would be the first one to raise capital from public investors via a legally valid bond issuance that utilises blockchain from the beginning to end.

The bank’s blockchain hit comes as the Australian Securities exchange plans to create, allocate, transfer and manage using distributed ledger (blockchain) technology to settle and clear equities exchanges from 2020 to help cut prices.

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