Swiss bank UBS has initiated introducing a “utility settlement coin” for interbank payments and is joined by Deutsche Bank, Santander, BNY Mellon and the broker company ICAP to get support from central banks.

Clearmatics Technologies company will be responsible for the development of the new coin based on blockchain technology, while its commercial launch is scheduled for early 2018. It is expected that the token will be easily converted into shares and fiat currencies.

“Today, trading between banks and institutions is difficult, time-consuming and costly, which is why we all have big back offices. This is about streamlining it and making it more efficient,” commented Julio Faura of Santander.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the global financial industry spent $80 billion last year on clearing and settlement procedures.

The four above-mentioned organisations are not alone in their daring plans. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan also decided to ride the wave and now are developing digital coins of their own. A prototype of state-issued cryptocurrency is being developed by the Bank of England. 

A report of the Dutch National Bank published in March 2016 considers the plans of launching another version of state-controlled digital currency DNBCoin. Recently, the Reserve Bank of South Africa also entered this club; it going to explore the opportunities provided by blockchain and digital money.

Lyudmila Brus