The World Bank has mandated the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) as the sole arranger of the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its lifecycle using distributed ledger technology. Indicative investor interest in bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument) has been strong. The World Bank and CBA expect to launch the transaction following a period of consultation with a broader set of investors.
The development of this offering has been conducted with the support and input of the investor community including Northern Trust, insurance provider QBE and Treasury Corporation of Victoria. World Bank infrastructure for the bond will run on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. Microsoft validated the system’s operational capabilities, security and scale.
The World Bank issues between $50-$60 billion annually in bonds for sustainable development, and in the past, it’s issued the first bond in global format and the first e-bond. The bond-i blockchain platform was built and developed by the CBA Blockchain Centre of Excellence. Since 2009, CBA has acted as lead manager for a number of World Bank bond issuances in the Australian and New Zealand capital markets.