Philippines Rural Banks To Test ConsenSys Blockchain For Transactions
ConsenSyS has announced that five rural banks in the Philippines, which is considered to be a crypto-friendly country, will test its blockchain based real-time payments solution. The piloting of the blockchain will be carried out as a part of the project named “i2i”, which aims at providing nearly 35 million unbanked Philippines citizens access to real-time banking services.
The slang “i2i” stands for “island-to-island”, individual-to-individual”, and “institution-to-institution”. The agreement has been signed between ConsenSys and the Union Bank of The Philippines. The rural banks involved in the project will be connected to the country’s financial system through the ConsenSys Kaleido Blockchain platform.
The rural banks which are participating with consent from Philippines Central Bank (BSP – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) are Cantilan Bank, Inc. of Surigao del Sur, City Savings Bank, PR Savings Bank, FairBank, and Progressive Bank.
The rural banks are neither members of the Philippines clearing house, nor connected to Bancnet, which is the country’s single ATM switch operator. Therefore, these rural banks are not permitted to issue checks.
Commenting on the initiative Union Bank chairman Dr. Justo Ortiz stated
“The i2i Project is a real-time, cost-effective and secure retail payment system in the blockchain. It could help crack the hole of financial inclusivity.”
Earlier this month Amazon Web Services (AWS) partnered with Kaleido, a subsidiary of ConsenSys. Kaleido, is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider which features Ethereum packages — Geth and Quorum. The packages enable companies to manage and build blockchain platforms easily.
The project to connect rural banks is also powered by ConsenSys Kaleido blockchain solution. Notably, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is the first client of ConsenSys in the Asia-Pacific region.
Steve Cerveny, the cofounder of Kaleido has stated that there is no need to have a doctorate degree in cryptography to build a blockchain network suitable for an enterprise. Kaleido, being a simple platform, would enable a company to easily build a blockchain suitable for their business scenario. According to a Philippines Central Bank report, of the 1,634 cities and municipalities in the country, 554 remain unbanked and the UnionBank-ConsenSys partnership is expected to change the scenario.
Justo Ortiz said
“Our team was inspired to harness blockchain in order to reach farther into our rural communities of the Philippines. Many people are still financially excluded and we’re looking to change that. In partnership with ConsenSyS and running on the Kaleido platform, we successfully accelerated Project i2i into active pilot without the complexity and cost of starting from scratch.”