The World Bank has announced it has raised $33 million from investors for its blockchain-based “Kangaroo” bond, Bond-i, adding an extra 50 percent to last year’s $74 million raise.
The World Bank says blockchain technology has the potential to help streamline and simplify the process of issuing bonds and advance its mission to eradicate hunger and poverty worldwide.
The Kangaroo bond is a foreign bond issued in Australian dollars by non-Australian organizations, including governments, businesses, and financial institutions. It’s managed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), RBC Capital Markets (RBC) and TD Securities (TD).
The point of the “Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument”, or “Bond-i—named after Sydney’s Bondi Beach—is efficiency. Bonds based on conventional infrastructure result in truckloads of paperwork, but blockchain’s decentralized ledger gets around all that.
Jigme Shingsar, Managing Director, Debt Capital Markets at RBC, calls Bond-i, “The most advanced practical application of blockchain technology to the debt capital markets to-date.”
Blockchain makes it possible to oversee investor bids in real-time, settle investments instantly, and make the price-discovery process more transparent. In other words, Bond-i makes it easier to raise funds to help the world’s poor.
Sophie Gilder, Head of Blockchain & AI, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, says that CBA now has “tangible evidence” that blockchain technology can improve on efficiency, transparency and risk management compared to existing market infrastructure.
Bond-i isn’t the World Bank’s first blockchain venture. Earlier this year, it worked with the International Monetary Fund to launch “Learning Coin” to help teach its staff how crypto works. Clearly it’s learning fast.