Utility Settlement Coin More Than Doubles Backers

The utility settlement coin, which aims to eliminate the delay in money transfers between banks, has gained six new backers, the Financial Times reports.

Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG, and State Street have joined project participants UBS, Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, and NEX.

The USC backers hope to have the offering in use in little more than a year.

“We have been in discussions with central banks and regulators, and we will continue that over the next 12 months with the aim of a limited ‘go live’ at the back end of 2018,” Hyder Jaffrey, head of strategic investment and fintech innovation at UBS, told the FT.

The new digital currency, which is based on a product developed by Clearmatics Technologies, would be used as an alternative form of payment when a financial group purchases a security from another financial group. Instead of having of having to wait for the counterparty to transfer the necessary monies to complete the transaction, the transaction would be complete as soon as it is registered in the distributed ledger.

Financial groups would then convert their USC holdings directly to cash from the participating central banks.

Adopting the USC also would require that the securities that would be bought and paid for would also have to be on the system’s distributed ledger to exploit the shortened settlement window.

However, the USC could be rendered obsolete if enough central banks deploy similar offerings independently, according to Jaffrey.

However, he told the FT that such projects would be years away due to the “public policy questions involved.”

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