The World Bank has recently had a close romance with blockchain technology, a period that has seen the bank issued its first ever bond on a blockchain network, and successfully so.
The president of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim has now come out to extol the benefits of the emerging technology. Kim noted that blockchain technology has “huge potentials”, adding that the bank was embracing the technology as key strategy to achieving its goals.
The World Bank president spoke at the ongoing joint annual meetings event with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank which began on Wednesday, in Bali, Indonesia. At the event, he pointed to the impact of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies as a whole.
The World Bank which comprises the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) recently issued its first blockchain bond in partnership with an Australian bank.
As Smartereum reported in August, the IBRD choose Australian-based Commonwealth Bank (CBA) to issue its first bond that will be settled using blockchain technology. The Bond-i worth $73 Million was successfully transacted on the ethereum network, effectively removing the need for multiple middlemen. Referring to the bond, Kim said: “…it reduced paperwork and reduced our cost, and we think that’s something that could be extremely helpful in the future.”
And though his organization has made some progress in blockchain adoption, Kim says there is still a lot to be done.
“We at the World Bank Group have had to admit that we’re not keeping up with the latest developments and we’re not doing it in a way that would help our clients take advantage of the great things that are coming out,” he was quoted as saying.
According to him, it was important to prioritize blockchain because it could be the key to curtailing some level of corruption on economic and societal fronts. “[Blockchain can] help us leapfrog generations of bad practice”, he said.
Kim could be described as a proponent of blockchain technology as he has been consistent in his support for the tech.
Last year, when knowledge about blockchain was at a low ebb, and it was mistaken for bitcoin Ponzi schemes, the World Bank head threw his weight behind it. He remarked at the time:
”Blockchain technology is something that everyone is excited about, but we have to remember that Bitcoin is one of the very few instances [when Blockchain technology was used in currency]. And the other times when Blockchain was used, they were basically Ponzi schemes, so it’s very important that if we go forward with it, we’re sure that it’s not going to be used to exploit”