The Israeli Ministry of Finance, together with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), digital assets custody provider Fireblock and the United States software solutions developer VMware, will conduct the testing of a blockchain-backed platform for digital bonds trading. These bonds will be issued by the Ministry of Finance.
The news broke out in the local media on Oct. 19. Coming under the name Eden, the new project is intended to reduce costs and optimize the procedure of national bonds issuance. As the accountant general, Yali Rothenberg, told the public:
“I believe that blockchain-based technologies are here to stay, and over time will permeate the core of the financial markets, thoroughly and deeply altering them. It is our duty to constantly examine new technologies and methodologies.”
During the live test, the participating banks will receive a new series of tokenized government bonds on their e-wallets via the project platform, transferring the money held in digital currencies to the e-wallet of the Israeli government. There is no information about the specific digital currencies that are going to be used in the live test. The pilot project is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2023.
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The list of countries and international bodies that have digitalized their bonds is not long. The World Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia became pioneers back in 2018, raising $110 million for two-year blockchain bonds. In 2021, the European Investment Bank followed the path by issuing 100 million euros in digital bonds.
While the most prominent national example is El Salvador, which ties its “Bitcoin bonds” to a larger crypto-centered strategy of development, Colombia and the Philippines have also dipped their toes in digitalizing the government bonds. In 2022, the U.K. voiced its intention to explore blockchain for government bonds as well.