Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 15, 2019 – The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have enabled secondary market trading recorded on blockchain for bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument), making this the first bond whose issuance and trading are recorded using distributed ledger technologies.
The successful completion of a secondary transaction with trading activity recorded on a distributed ledger illustrates the vast potential to enhance the co-ordination of securities trading and management on blockchain – delivering a verified, permanent record and instant reconciliation. The functionality was developed by CBA in conjunction with World Bank and market maker TD Securities.
The World Bank issued bond-i in August 2018, which was the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology. CBA was the sole arranger for the bond.
“Enabling secondary trading recorded on the blockchain is a tremendous step forward towards enabling capital markets to leverage distributed ledger technologies for faster, more efficient, and more secure transactions,” said World Bank Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua. “It speaks to the innovation and commitment of all our partners, including investors, that we were able to achieve this together.”
“Since issuing bond-i in August last year, the positive feedback and interest from the technology and financial sector community globally has been extraordinary,” said Sophie Gilder, Head of Experimentation & Commercialisation, CBA Innovation Labs. ”There is a growing recognition that blockchain technology can deliver a superior digital market for raising capital and then managing and trading securities, so we are working with our strategic partners to realise that vision.
“Blockchain has the potential to streamline processes for raising capital and trading securities, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance regulatory oversight.”
The ‘bond-i’ project is part of a broader strategic focus of the World Bank to harness the potential of disruptive technologies for development. The bond-i blockchain platform was built and developed by the CBA Blockchain Centre of Excellence, housed in the Sydney Innovation Lab.
This project builds on the leadership and experience of CBA’s dedicated blockchain team, which has taken a lead role in applying blockchain technology to capital markets.
The project is advised by King & Wood Mallesons as legal counsel, and benefits from an independent code review by Microsoft. IHS Markit provide independent valuations.
The bond-i project continues to expand and improve and has benefited from the input and feedback from foundation investors and other capital market partners. The project continues to welcome interest from financial market partners.
About the World Bank
The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody’s/S&P), is an international organization. Created in 1944, it is the original member of the World Bank Group and operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations. The World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and other creditworthy countries to support the Sustainable Development Goals and to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. It also provides leadership to coordinate regional and global responses to development challenges. The World Bank has been issuing sustainable development bonds in the international capital markets for over 70 years to fund programs and activities that achieve a positive impact. More information on World Bank bonds is available at www.worldbank.org/debtsecurities.
Since our beginnings in 1911 as a bank for Australian families, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been providing financial services for people, businesses and communities across the country. Today, we have grown to become one of the world’s leading financial institutions. We employ more than 51,000 people around the world. We have more than 800,000 direct shareholders with many more who own shares through their superannuation or retirement plans. From technology firsts, innovative products and services, to an unwavering focus on customer service, the way we do business makes it easier for our customers and communities around the world to improve their financial wellbeing. For more information about who we are and our history please visit ‘About Us’.
This press release is not an offer for sale of bond-i (the “Notes”). Any offering of the Notes will take place solely on the basis of the relevant offering documentation including, but not limited to, the prospectus, term sheet and/or final terms, as applicable, prepared by the World Bank or on behalf of the World Bank. Any decision to invest in the Notes should be taken on the basis of the relevant offering documentation in which the risks, expenses and conditions regarding the Notes are described. Sale of the Notes might be subject to restrictions under the laws of New South Wales. The Notes may not be offered or sold except in compliance with all applicable laws and may not be eligible for sale in certain jurisdictions or to certain persons.
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