Canadian Financial Institution Launches World’s First Stablecoin Backed by Bank Deposits

Canadian Financial Institution Launches World’s First Stablecoin Backed by Bank Deposits

  • Canadian-based bank, VersaBank, announced the launch of its digital stablecoin, VCAD, which is backed 1:1 by Canadian dollar bank deposits by the bank.

VersaBank, a North American banking leader in B2B digital payment solutions, announced its plans to launch VCAD, the “world’s first digital currency backed by a North American bank deposits”. The stablecoin aims to offer users a channel of commerce while offering the highest levels of stability and security on its system.

The VCAD stablecoin is as a result of a partnership between VersaBank and Stablecorp, a joint venture between crypto asset manager, 3iQ and Mavenet, a blockchain development firm, both Canadian firms too. The partnership will ensure the commercial launch of VCAD, with VersaVault, a digital bank vault under VersaBank’s cybersecurity subsidiary, DRT Cyber Inc., securely managing the stablecoin.

The VCAD project is expected to launch in the coming months, a statement from the team further stated.

VCAD allows consumers and businesses to leverage the benefits of stable tokens such as removing the wild volatility experienced across the crypto market or fiat currencies. Moreover, users will also enjoy the security of a fully-backed stablecoin through the bank deposits, David Taylor, President of VersaBank and DRT Cyber Inc. said in a statement.

“Consumers and businesses purchasing products and services with VCAD will finally know the precise value of their digital currency when executing these transactions.”

At launch, VCAD will be issued to financial intermediaries working with VersaBank in exchange for Canadian dollar deposits. These partners and intermediaries will then offer the stablecoin directly to users and businesses allowing them to redeem for Canadian dollars and payment purposes at any time. Jean Desgagne, CEO, Stablecorp said,

“VCAD provides consumers with not only the security afforded by an underlying deposit with a Canadian chartered bank but also the comfort of knowing that each VCAD issued or redeemed will always have one-to-one value with the Canadian dollar.”

Stablecoins are rapidly gaining acceptance across Canada as a bank of Canada official, Deputy Governor Tim Lane, praised the innovation over “flawed Bitcoin” as a payment channel.

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Author: Lujan Odera

First Tether (USDT) Minted on Solana; Stablecoin USDC Launched on Stellar

First Tether (USDT) Minted on Solana; Stablecoin USDC Launched on Stellar

Stablecoin issues Tether first announced during the summer of 2020 that it had launched its USDT coin on Layer 1 blockchain Solana, which claims to be faster and cheaper than Ethereum.

Now, the first USDT has been finally minted on the Solana blockchain, as announced by Paolo Ardoino on Twitter late on Tuesday.

Tether, the dominant stablecoin in the market with a market cap of more than $27 billion, is supported on a number of blockchains, including Ethereum, Tron, EOS, Omni, OMG Network, Algorand, Liquid, and others, with support to be added for more blockchains as well.

Solana has seen growing adoption with crypto exchange FTX launching its DEX Serum on it a few months back. FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried called Solana “awesome” at the time and said it is “10,000 times faster and 1,000,000 times cheaper than Ethereum.”

Another popular stablecoin USDC, with a market cap of about $6 billion, also supports Solana blockchain, and on Tuesday, it announced support for Stellar as well.

Stellar blockchain is now fully integrated across all the Circle products. This will help bring USDC to “billions of people around the world” and swap and exchange instantly for Brazilian Real, Argentinian Peso, Nigerian Naira, Euro, and South African Rand. Jeremy Allaire, co-founder & CEO of Circle said,

“Not only will this unlock new on-chain FX markets, but it will help people across the world, including in emerging markets, to access the power of digital dollars, and have seamless convertibility with local stablecoins.”

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Author: AnTy

Circle’s USDC Stablecoin is Now Running on Stellar’s Blockchain

Circle’s USDC Stablecoin is Now Running on Stellar’s Blockchain

USDC is now available on the Stellar blockchain. Circle has been using its stablecoin to expand payment processing features across the board.

Circle’s dollar-pegged stablecoin USDC marks another milestone as it moves to the Stellar blockchain

Circle Financial and the Stellar Development Foundation announced that they had partnered on the initiative, bringing the world’s leading dollar-pegged stablecoin in contact with the fast-rising blockchain platform.

A Stellar USDC Welcome

According to a joint press release, the integration will see the Stellar USDC available across all Stellar-based decentralized exchanges. The asset will also become tradable across the entire Stellar ecosystem, with trading pairs available for over 9,000 assets.

“The integration brings immediate value to the Stellar ecosystem, connecting and creating new business opportunities for existing Stellar-based businesses, USDC’s network of existing partners, and future FinTechs looking to optimize payments, especially cross-border transactions.”

The companies added that developers and businesses looking to integrate Stellar USDC could do so via a single transaction on the Circle Account or any of its additional API services.

Several companies in the Stellar ecosystem including JST, FinClusive, and Stably have signed up to offer Stellar-native integrations and support liquidity for Stellar USDC. Several other finance-focused firms in the ecosystem plan to integrate the asset into their payment networks.

Using USDC to Bolster Payments and Transactions

USDC’s new launch on the Stellar blockchain adds to the impressive few months that the asset and its developers have had so far.

Last December, it scored a significant win after top payment processor and credit card manufacturer VISA announced a partnership with Circle to provide easier USDC transactions on certain credit cards, BitcoinExchangeGuide reports.

Cuy Sheffield, VISA’s Head of Crypto, explained that the move would usher in the first corporate card to allow businesses to spend their USDC balances. The collaboration also sees both partners promising USDC transactions between VISA-friendly, cross-border companies down the road.

Sheffield said that VISA is looking to become a “network of networks,” with partners focusing on improving payments in one way or the other coming together on its platform. By enabling its clients to speed up transactions, the firm is hoping to capitalize on its partners’ strengths on all fronts.

Circle Financial also rolled out USDC-USD transfers. Per an official announcement, the firm developed a new API to offer more seamless USDC-USD transfers via automated clearinghouse (ACH) systems.

Derivatives and futures company FTX becomes the first to adopt the new API, as the company hopes to speed up USD settlement processes for its customers.

The ACH API improves connections between fiat and digital markers, introducing greater interoperability among payment rails like wire, card, and blockchain transfers. With the API, customers can transfer USD funds between banks and blockchains, taking traditionally manual processes and automating them.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Celo to Launch A Euro (cEUR) Pegged Stablecoin In March, Backed by Basket of Assets

Celo to Launch A Euro (cEUR) Pegged Stablecoin In March, Backed by Basket of Assets

Celo, a decentralized financial app, is adding a new stablecoin, backed by the Euro. The Euro stablecoin will be backed by a basket of cryptocurrencies that are algorithmically adjusted to maintain a stable price.

In a story first published by The Block, Celo, the mobile decentralized digital payments network, is launching a euro backed stablecoin. The Celo Euro is the second stablecoin to launch on the platform after the Celo Dollar (cUSD), which is pegged to the dollar.

According to Marek Olszewski, a partner at cLabs, one of the leading development firms on Celo, the stablecoin could launch at the end of Q1 2021, adding more DeFi qualities to its ecosystem.

The team has been working on the euro-pegged stablecoin for “a few months” since launching the Celo Dollar in June 2020. The stablecoin is a mobile-friendly innovation aiming to give the 5 billion+ smartphone users a safe, secure, and instant channel to transact cryptocurrencies worldwide.

Unlike Tether, who claims to back each stablecoin with a dollar its reserves, the Celo Euro stablecoin, in a similar fashion with the Celo Dollar, will be backed by a basket of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. The cryptocurrencies will be algorithmically adjusted to ensure the stablecoin is pegged to 1 EUR at all times, Olsewski said in a statement. He added,

“We did a lot of work to show that having a diverse set of crypto assets is actually really good for stability.”

Since its mainnet went live in May last year, Celo has expanded its stablecoin developments to target the decentralized finance market – expanding its products from the Celo Gold (cGLD) to new “currency pegged stablecoins.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

This Ethereum-based ‘Non-Volatile’ Stablecoin is on a Roller Coaster Ride

This Ethereum-based ‘Non-Volatile’ Stablecoin is on a Roller Coaster Ride

Just last week yet again Dynamic Set Dollar (DSD) 275% only to crash 91% to under $0.3.

The latest stablecoin which is all the rage right now is Dynamic Set Dollar (DSD) which is a sophisticated algorithmic stablecoin.

Launched less than a month back, the price journey of this stablecoin has been extremely volatile. Rising just above $80 on its first day of coming into existence, much like any other DeFi attraction, DSD dropped to $31 the same day.

On Dec. 2nd, a new high at $86.57 was set, as per CoinGecko. From here, it started tanking, going to about $0.66 on Dec. 12.

Last week, the stablecoin, yet again, rallied 275% only to crash 91% to under $0.3.

As of writing, DSD has been trading at $0.36.

The price action of this Ethereum-based stablecoin surely got many people REKT. But it isn’t all over as the circulating supply of DSD will be increasing by about 1/3 today which “could generate heavy selling.”

It was to fulfill DeFi’s needed functionality while “reliably maintaining its peg” that the team launched DSD.

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Based on the popular rebasing method, the token supply increases and decreases with every rebase by directly adjusting the number of tokens in every token holder’s wallet.

Whenever DSD trades below the $1 peg, token holders are incentivized to contract the token supply to bring the spot price back to the peg for which Coupons (debt) is issued. Users burn their DSD to purchase Coupons, which have an expiry of 360 epochs and the debt ratio capped at 35%, thereby reducing the supply. When DSD goes above $1, new DSD are minted to push the supply down.

DSD allows for 12 potential supply extension or contraction events per day.

In its official announcement, the team defined DSD as a “non-volatile digital asset pegged to the dollar, so the risk of liquidation through volatile price action is low.”

However, the stablecoin is anything but non-volatile as seen in the price movement and currently gaining a lot of interest.

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Author: AnTy

USDC Circulating Supply Increases by 3.14B; Stablecoin ‘Way Ahead of the Pack’ in Regulatory Compliance

USDC Circulating Supply Increases by 3.14B in 2020; CEO Says Stablecoin Is ‘Way Ahead of the Pack’ in Regulatory Compliance

USDC’s supply has surged 687% in less than ten months. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire says the latest regulations “pave the way for stablecoins to become a major part of the payments and settlement infrastructure of the financial system.”

Stablecoin USD Coin, created by Center Consortium, a collaboration of Coinbase and Circle has surpassed 3.6 billion in circulation.

“USDC crossed 3.5B in circulation, newly 500m new in circulation in past couple of weeks,” tweeted Jeremy Allaire, co-founder, and CEO of Circle.

A few hours later the same day, Allaire took to Twitter again to state that the coins in circulation had crossed $3.6 billion.

In mid-March, the market cap of USDC was just around $457 million, representing an increase of 687% in less than ten months.

2020 has been a year of stablecoins as the combined supply of these coins surpassed 20 billion recently.

Another interesting metric is the on-chain volumes of these stablecoins which have crossed the $1 trillion mark, this year, for the first time ever, analyzed The Block. Last year, the volume was a mere $248 billion.

The dominant stablecoin in the market, Tether (USDT) remains the king here as well by accounting for 76% of all the stablecoin on-chain volume followed by USDC at 15% and then DAI at just 7% share of the market.

As for the blockchain, Ethereum is the obvious leader with 83.5% of stablecoin on-chain volume share followed by Tron and Omni at 14.5% and 2.1% respectively.

Regulators onto Stablecoins

This increased popularity and usage of fiat-backed cryptos have brought regulatory scrutiny on the stablecoins.

Just this week, President Trump’s Working Group on Financial Markets published a statement where it says stablecoins must meet the same regulatory standards as other financial systems. It requires the issuers to obtain and verify the information of the parties involved in the transaction of stablecoins across unhosted wallets.

“Nearly everything that is being proposed is highly aligned with how Centre operates and USDC is issued today. Broadly, this is a very significant development in terms of acknowledging USDC as emerging significant payment infrastructure in the US,” commented Allaire on these new proposed rules.

He further went on to say that all the regulators are asking for are already the “hallmarks” of the company and they are “way ahead of the pack.”

These regulations “pave the way for stablecoins to become a major part of the payments and settlement infrastructure of the financial system,” said Allaire.

However, the rules on transaction reporting for unhosted wallets, which cross-references the midnight rule-making by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, “will be vigorously fought.”

“We are looking forward to picking this conversation up with the Biden Administration, and the many many leaders and civil servants across the US Treasury, SEC, CFTC and others as we usher in the next major phase of the global financial system.”

Jeremy Allaire Co-founder and CEO of Circle

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Author: AnTy

Algorand Blockchain Adds Canadian Dollar Backed Stablecoin, QCAD, On Its Platform

Algorand blockchain welcomes its third stablecoin, QCAD, the Canadian dollar stablecoin built, issued, and managed by Stablecorp, a Canadian based fintech firm founded in a joint partnership with 3iQ, Canada’s largest crypto asset manager, and Mavennet Systems, a blockchain development firm.

In a press release statement on Thursday, Stablecorp Inc, a Canadian dollar stablecoin issuer, announced its partnership with Algorand to launch its digital asset on the latter’s blockchain. Algorand offers decentralized applications and projects a secure, scalable, and decentralized network that Stablecorp aims to leverage by launching QCAD on top of the blockchain. Algorand Foundation also released a grant to Stablecorp to incentivize the development of the stablecoins capabilities atop Algorand.

Jean Deagagne, CEO of Stablecorp, is looking forward to leveraging Algorand’s “robust and secure high throughput infrastructure” upon integrating QCAD stablecoin, he said in a statement. Furthermore, Algorand’s unique capabilities aim to expand the use cases of QCAD to spark mass adoption of the asset and “explore and scale new enterprise and consumer implementations,” he added.

According to the statement, the QCAD project is the first fully-regulated and mass-market stablecoin, “currently supported by over 22 different ecosystem partners, including exchanges, custodians, payment providers, and decentralized exchanges (DEXes)”.

Apart from providing a secure and robust platform for the stablecoin, Algorand also allows microtransactions, instant confirmation times, and wallet support for the token. Algorand testnet recorded over 1000 transactions per second, way faster than Bitcoin or Ethereum transaction times – at 7TPS and 15TPS, respectively. Sean Lee, the CEO of Algorand Foundation, said in a statement to BEG,

“The global scale and speed of the Algorand protocol will enable the high transaction volumes that will facilitate new and innovative consumer innovation using QCAD.”

QCAD becomes the third stablecoin built atop Algorand blockchain following the additions of dollar-backed Tether (USDT) and Circle’s USDC stablecoin. As a high throughput blockchain, Algorand opens up the use of high volume stablecoins on its unique globally scalable, secure, and instant platform.

The Canadian government has also been on its feet monitoring digital currencies, the benefits and flaws of launching a CBDC, and the role of blockchain systems in the economy. Recently, Canada announced plans to team up with other G7 countries to launch the CBDC, calling for more global cooperation between nations.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitbond And Germany’s Oldest Bank to Issue A Euro Stablecoin On Stellar’s Blockchain

Bitbond, a Germany-based tokenization firm, has finally completed the launch of its first stablecoin after securing a partnership with Bankhaus von der Heydt (BVDH), the country’s oldest running bank, an official statement confirmed on December 9. Earlier in February this year, BEG had reported the partnership between the two to develop the first Euro-backed stablecoin on the Stellar blockchain, which has now come to life.

In a press statement, Radoslav Albrecht, founder and CEO of Bitbond said,

“Bitbond has been working with Stellar since 2019 when we issued the first-ever tokenized security recognized by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), [the financial regulatory authority for Germany].”

Bitbond utilizes blockchain technology to enhance the issuance, settlement, and custody of bonds through tokenization. Following the completion and launch of the Euro stablecoin issuance, Bitbond “has completed our digital assets tech suite which, up to now, included digital asset custody and tokenization technology,” Albrecht further said.

The statement claims the Euro stablecoin is the first-of-its-kind issued in Europe or across any banking institution. It is fully regulated by BaFin and fully backed at a 1:1 ratio, which gives institutional investors and third party banks confidence in using the token. However, given the strict regulations, KYC/AML compliance, and other regulatory requirements, Bitbond’s EUR stablecoin will not be traded on open exchanges.

BVDH customers and other third-party developers of financial applications dealing with digital assets’ online settlements can use the stablecoin – reducing their costs and transaction times – albeit in a more regulated way. Bitbond also integrated the tokenization of bond securities allowing the system to directly mint and destroy tokens according to the demand/supply mechanisms.

This opens up a gateway for Stellar blockchain to dominate the Euro stablecoin market in a similar manner that Ethereum does for Tether – the dollar-backed stablecoin. Partnering with one of the largest banks across Europe shows the digital space’s potential to work with traditional banks to create better innovative solutions in the finance space. Denelle Dixon, the CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation stated,

“This is a testament to the ways that traditional banking and blockchain can work together, bringing together one of the oldest banks in Europe with a FinTech start-up to deliver exciting innovation in the digital currency space.”

The 266-year old bank is finally taking its role in digitizing securitization, fund administration, and mergers & acquisitions to complement the traditional methods already employed in the bank. The bank has looked at stablecoins and digital assets in the past few years, according to Lukas Weniger, BVDH business development.

However, institutions and big corporations are still wary of using current stablecoins such as Tether and Circle’s USDC due to the third party risk and a lack of a fully licensed bank to back them, Weniger said.

Bitbond will also offer regulated tokenized bonds on the Stellar blockchain as the company works with real estate developers who wish to issue tokenized securities, he further confirmed.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Facebook-Led Libra Rebrands to ‘Diem’ in Attempt for a ‘New Start’ & Gain Regulatory Approval

Facebook has rebranded its stablecoin project Libra as “Diem” in its latest effort to gain regulatory approval. The new name comes after the Latin word “day” — denoting “a new day for the project.”

The Diem Network is preparing to launch its first digital coin as early as January next year, called the Diem Dollar.

First announced in June 2019, the project that aims to build a safe, secure, and compliant payment system received a lot of backlash from the regulators and raised concerns among the central banks over its impact on financial stability and monetary sovereignty. Stuart Levey, CEO of the Geneva-based Diem Association, said,

“The original name was tied to an early iteration of the project that received a difficult reception from regulators. We have dramatically changed that proposition.”

“We wanted a new start.”

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As we reported, the team is currently waiting to obtain a license from Swiss regulators to launch. It is also in talks with the US federal and state regulators but isn’t waiting for approval from them.

To satisfy regulators, Diem will comply with the sanctions and regulatory reporting requirements. “All of these design features we think make for a project we think that regulators will welcome,” Levey said.

The new network has also abandoned the 100-member goal and currently has 27 participants. The idea is to take things even more slowly; as such, just one digital currency — US dollar-pegged stablecoin — is being launched for now. It may pursue additional fiat-based cryptos later, said Levey. He added,

“We are not trying to cut all ties, by any stretch. It (the name change) is to signify that the association is operating autonomously and independently.”

The Diem Association also has no more plans to eventually transition to a permissionless blockchain to allow everyone to participate in verifying transactions.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Drops BGBP Stablecoin; Citing Challenges in the Issuance and Redemption Process

Binance crypto exchange announced that it would discontinue its GBP-backed stablecoin ‘BGBP’ as of Nov 17 at 12:00 PM UTC. This coin was tied on a 1:1 ratio against the British pound and launched by Binance back in June 2019.

According to the announcement on Nov 16, the BGBP stablecoin is among a list of trading pairs that will either be removed or cease trading on the Binance exchange. The announcement noted that BGBP’s last trading pair against BUSD marks its final use case within the exchange’s trading ecosystem.

Notably, users who will still hold their BGBP after trading stops will have an option to leverage Binance’s convert function to exchange their stablecoins to GBP on a 1:1 basis. The blog post by Binance reads,

“Please note that BGBP/USDC is the last trading pair for BGBP. For users still holding BGBP after trading ceases, they will be able to use the Convert function to convert their BGBP to GBP at a 1:1 ratio.”

A Binance rep who spoke to theBlock, revealed that the BGBP was the exchange’s first fiat-pegged stablecoin experiment, hence more like a proof-of-concept. According to the spokesperson’s comments, BGBP posed some challenges in issuance and redemption,

It worked, but the issuance/redemption process was not the most friendly for users.”

The spokesperson further highlighted that Binance would instead direct users to its alternative GBP on-ramping services to derive similar utility.

“As such, to offer our users with better services, we have discontinued BGBP and will direct users to our other available fiat on-ramps that offer GBP.”

While Binance issued BGBP, its dollar-backed BUSD stablecoin has thrived more despite being a Paxos stablecoin white-label. According to coinmarketcap metrics, the BUSD stablecoin supply is cool $662 million compared to a mere $700,000 by the BGBP counterpart.

It is noteworthy that the BGBP stablecoin was primarily bought through Binance Jersey, a subsidiary that the exchange is shutting down this month. This also coincides with upcoming U.K stablecoin regulations that seek to implement oversight on these digital assets to be at par with rival payment methods.

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Author: Edwin Munyui