Skip to Content
Blockchain

The World Bank is still loving its blockchain-powered bonds

August 20, 2019
World Bank Group building in Washington DC
World Bank Group building in Washington DCShiny Things | Flickr

The World Bank’s blockchain-based bond wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. Nearly a year after it issued the two-year bond, the government-run global development bank has issued a second round, bringing the total raised to $108 million.

The news: Bonds are like loans that governments, and large financial institutions, use to raise funds. Holders of bonds receive interest from them until they mature after a fixed period of time, when the issuer repays their debt. The World Bank issues between $50 billion and $60 billion in bonds each year to help fund sustainable development projects in emerging economies. Now, it has joined up with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), RBC Capital Markets, and TD Securities to manage the bond, which will be “created, allocated, transferred, and managed through its life-cycle” on a blockchain, according to a press release.

Version 2.0: Last August, the World Bank teamed with CBA to raise around $80 million by issuing a two-year bond using a private version of Ethereum’s blockchain software. Now the platform will let investors trade the bonds on a secondary market, and those transactions will be recorded on the blockchain too. According to the World Bank, this is “the first bond whose issuance and trading are recorded using distributed ledger technologies.”

A big endorsement: Many blockchain experiments inside large organizations haven’t gone anywhere. But a second round of blockchain bonds means the World Bank must think it is on to something. Sophie Gilder, head of blockchain and AI at CBA, certainly does: “CBA now has tangible evidence ... that blockchain technology can deliver a new level of efficiency, transparency, and risk management capability versus the existing market infrastructure,” Gilder said in a statement.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.