Banks

ANZ Bank Creates Australia’s First Stablecoin – A Bit of A$DC for the Kangaroos

The rise of MNBC continues! – The Big 4 ANZ Bank is the first Australian bank to create a stablecoin pegged to the Australian dollar (AUD). ANZ is currently working with regulators such as the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The goal is to get the project approved A$DC in a compliant manner. The bank has already carried out a test transaction on the Ethereum blockchain with its institutional partner Victor Smorgon Group. This family office is linked to the family billionaire Smorgon. Things have changed a lot in Australia since 2018.

A$DC, the first Australian stablecoin

According to a report by the Australian Financial Review (AFR) dating from Thursday March 24the stablecoin will initially be rolled out for institutional clients. Indeed, some of them are looking for a profitable on-ramp for crypto investments. However, it is likely that the A$DC will also be open to the retail business in the near future.

The pilot transaction allowed Victor Smorgon to send 30 million Australian dollars (AUD) to A$DC at Zerocap. Zerocap is an Australian digital asset fund manager partnered with ANZ to provide cryptocurrency-related infrastructure and advisory services.

Fireblocks, a global digital asset custodian, provided the infrastructure, while OpenZeppelin audited the smart contracts. Chainalysis has also signed with the bank to help with compliance and regulatory obligations.

Australia will soon have its MNBC, the A$DC.

Zerocap CEO Ryan McCall stressed that ANZ’s decision is not just a “not huge” in the generalization of crypto in Australia. According to him, it is also global. Indeed, it provides a legitimate example of a stablecoin supported by a fully regulatedconsistent and traditional.

“Until theA$DC, we did not have a bank-backed Australian dollar stablecoin. The majority of the industry uses non-bank and often unregulated USD stablecoins. Now, with this AUD stablecoin issued by the Big 4 bank, the use case is much more compelling. »

Ryan McCall, CEO of Zerocap

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Banks are interested in crypto-assets

Regarding the A$DC pilot test, McCall said the ANZ Institutional Division “was enthusiastic and fully committed to this project, the ecosystem in general and provided an end-to-end solution and service”. Although the transaction was made on Ethereum, he said ANZ would take its time to assess other options. Hedera Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) will also be reviewed.

McCall said he was “inevitable” that major banks are looking to become major on-ramps to crypto before long. Nigel Dobson, head of banking services at ANZ, said a bank-provided digital Australian dollar will speed up thelocal economy digital assets.

Central bank cryptocurrencies are booming.  Australia is no exception to this craze.

“Our customers want to buy digital assets. Seeing a digital Australian dollar launched by a major authorized depositary institution like ANZ will give them confidence that they can transact with us and use the coin domestically. (…) They don’t have to trade coins for US dollars, taking on the currency risk in an elongated process. »

Nigel Dobson, Head of ANZ Banking Services

Another Australian stablecoin soon?

ANZ is not the only local bank working to launch a stablecoin lately. NAB’s Director of Innovation and Partnerships, Howard Silby, pointed out at the Australian Blockchain Week event that “Banks are starting to have their mainstream blockchain moment”.

Silby said National Australia Bank was also working on a stablecoin. The objective is to settle transactions on its platform based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) “Carbonplace”. This platform should also see the light of day end of 2022.

“The stablecoin (…) is super important and it is another exciting development that we are working on at the moment (…) We have done exchanges, but we had to use fiat in part. So, the big breakthrough will come later this year when we have a stablecoin. »

Howard Silby, Director of Innovation and Partnerships at National Australia Bank

Today, a large number of countries are experimenting with or thinking about their digital currency. Indeed, the MNBC (central bank digital currency) have the coast. The question is no longer whether it will also happen here, but simply when. Mexican private banks, for example, are also trying to launch their CBDC, the crypto-peso.

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