Top Banks Purportedly Investing $50M for Blockchain-Based Digital Cash Settlement System

Some of the world’s largest banks are purportedly setting aside roughly $50 million to create a blockchain-based digital cash settlement system.

A report from Reuters published on May 17, citing “people familiar with the plans,” stated that probably a dozen unnamed banks are participating in the project. The involved banks will purportedly be establishing a new entity dubbed Fnality for the project, which could roll out next year.

Swiss banking mogul UBS was reportedly working on a digital currency in 2015 that would be “linked to real-world currencies and connected to central bank accounts” together with blockchain startup Clearmatics.

According to data from trademark service Justia Trademarks, Clearmatics looks to have applied for a trademark for the term “Fnality.”

In August 2016, four other banks—Deutsche Bank, ICAP, BNY Mellon, and Santander—participated UBS and Clearmatics on the “utility settlement coin” (USC) project. Robert Sams, founder of Clearmatics, said at the time that USC is as a form of digital cash that is “fully backed by cash assets at the central bank.”

Reuters report states that State Street Corp, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, Barclays, HSBC Holdings, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse Group have also been working on the USC project.

A spokesperson from Barclays said:

“We are a member of the USC Project and can confirm that the Research & Development phase is coming to an end.”

The news comes following investment banking mogul JPMorgan introduced its own cryptocurrency, the JPM Coin, to enable its clients of wholesale payments business to transact in real time.