The Utility Settlement Coin (USC) project — led by some of the world’s largest banks — has announced the creation of a new firm and closure of an accompanying £50 million ($63.2 million) Series A financing round.
USC platform aims to facilitate the issuance of blockchain-based currencies in the commercial and central banking sector worldwide. According to today’s press release, USC project partners have now become the founding shareholders in a new firm representing the project’s commercial realization — dubbed Fnality International.
They include some of the world’s major banking players: Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, Barclays, CIBC, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, ING, KBC Group, Lloyds Banking Group, MUFG Bank, Nasdaq, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, State Street Corporation and UBS.
During the four years of its development so far, the USC R&D project has reportedly focused on developing efficient solutions for global cross border payments in the future context of tokenized wholesale markets. The project also aims to find ways to reduce settlement, counterparty and — ultimately — systemic risk in post-trade settlement processes.
The press release outlines that USC aspires to be a token that is 100% backed and guaranteed at all times by a given central bank’s national fiat currency. For each jurisdiction, Fnality’s solution will reportedly ensure that settlement is achieved in compliance with local settlement finality laws and regulations.
The R&D work has led to the creation and forthcoming deployment of a new solution that addresses legal, regulatory, operational and technical issues, and will establish a regulated network of distributed Financial Market Infrastructures (dFMIs) that support the international exchange of value transactions.
Initially, five national fiat currencies are to be supported — CAD, EUR, GBP, JPY and USD — with further currencies reportedly to be added in the future.
The USC project further aims to innovate clearing and settlement processes, facilitate Delivery vs. Payment in tokenized securities markets, and enable instant settlement on a Payment vs. Payment basis within the secured funding market, the press release adds.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published today, Fnality CEO Rhomaios Ram said he expects the USC token will be fully operational within 12 months, once regulatory approval has been secured.