UBS, Santander Announce Blockchain Project Inspired By Ethereum

As reported by Reuters, "Swiss bank UBS is leading a team of four of the world's biggest banks developing a system to enable financial markets to make payments and settle transactions quickly using blockchain technology.

UBS has developed a "Utility Settlement Coin" (USC), which is a digital cash equivalent of each of the major currencies backed by central banks, such as the dollar or euro, rather than a decentralized new digital currency such as bitcoin.

The USC would be convertible at parity with a bank deposit in the corresponding currency, making it fully backed by cash assets at a central bank. Spending a USC would be the same as spending the real currency it is paired with, UBS said."

Other banks involved in the project are BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, and Banco Santander, as well as a brokerage.

Watch our interview with Santander's blockchain chief John Whelan below. Mr. Whelan explained that even though the project uses Ethereum technology, it is not exposed to the public Ethereum blockchain. London-based blockchain lab Clearmatics, involved with the settlement coin concept, started with a flavor of Ethereum but this project is likely to end up being rather proprietary in nature.

Disclosure: Not financial advice. At time of publication, I hold some bitcoin, ether, gold, and U.S. dollars in my long term portfolio.

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