World Bank picks Commonwealth Bank for world’s first blockchain bond

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An employee walks outside the World Bank headquarters in Washington, United States.

The World Bank has mandated Commonwealth Bank of Australia to arrange the world’s first blockchain bond.

The Kangaroo bond, referring to foreign bonds issued in Australia in the local currency, has been named bond-i, an acronym standing for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument. (It’s also a reference to Bondi Beach, an iconic spot in Sydney.)

According to the institution, the bond will be the first in the world to be created, allocated, transferred and managed with blockchain technology. That tech, which underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, refers to the distributed ledger technology that securely records all transactions made on the chain.

“Blockchain has the potential to streamline processes among numerous debt capital market intermediaries and agents. This can help simplify raising capital and trading securities; improve operational efficiencies; and enhance regulatory oversight,” a joint release from the two organizations said.