14 Banks Invest In Blockchain for Cross-Border Transfers

Blockchain technology could make cross-border trades faster in the future.

Fourteen banks, which include the likes of Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, and Mitsubishi UFG, have poured $63.2 million into a new venture to develop a utility settlement coin (USC) that will enable settlement of financial services transactions across trades, reports the Wall Street Journal. The new company is called Fnality and is already working with regulators in different countries in order to gain approvals. News about the coin was earlier reported by Reuters.

Swiss bank UBS Group AG is spearheading the initiative. In addition to carrying payment details, the USC token will also carry all the information required to complete a transaction. The advantage of this approach is that the parties involved in clearing a transaction are “baked” into the system, enabling banks to remove a slew of risks associated with the transaction, such as settlement risk, said UBS head of strategic investment, Hyder Jaffrey.

This is not the first such project. JP Morgan was reported to be testing a JPM Coin in February. The bank’s coin was to be used for three main purposes: cross-border transfers for large corporate clients, securities transactions (including debt issuance), and treasury services for corporate clients. It is unclear whether Fnality’s services are aimed at corporate or retail clients.