Japan’s Mizuho invests in blockchain settlements firm Fnality

Japan’s Mizuho invests in blockchain settlements firm Fnality

Today blockchain settlements startup Fnality announced an investment from Mizuho Bank. It is one of the top five banks of Japan, two of which are already shareholders of Fnality alongside 12 other major financial institutions. In June, the startup raised £50 million in a Series A funding round.

“We see that distributed ledger technology (DLT) offers huge potential and the use of USC (Utility Settlement Coin) as a settlement asset will be pivotal in enabling this change,” said Fumio Tajima, Executive Officer at Mizuho Bank.

In its announcement , Fnality said it has made progress in developing the technology for the initial application of the USC. Earlier this year Ledger Insights was told a USC launch is expected in 2020.

The company aims to create an institutional digital currency. Initially, there will be digital versions of five currencies Canadian Dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese Yen and US Dollars. The USC is for peer-to-peer on-chain payments for use by financial institutions (only) to make instant settlements with finality. This potentially could be used for on-chain foreign currency transactions or the settlement of stock trades, derivatives, or other assets.

The digital currency will be 100% backed by deposits at central banks.

Three months ago, none other than the Governor of the Bank of England spoke about the benefits of digital money backed by central bank deposits. He discussed Facebook’s Libra but also talked about the USC specifically: “This can drive efficiency and resilience in operational processes and reduce counterparty risks in the system, unlocking billions of pounds […]