Six major banks have joined UBS’ Utility Settlement Coin (USC) system, an asset-backed digital cash instrument implemented on distributed ledger technology for use within global institutional financial markets.
USC is a series of cash assets, with a version for each of the major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, etc.) and is convertible at parity with a bank deposit in the corresponding currency. USC is fully backed by cash assets held at a central bank. Spending a USC will be spending its paired real-world currency.
The new members of the USC are Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG and State Street.
UBS, together with London-based blockchain company Clearmatics, launched the USC in September 2015 to validate the potential benefits of USC for capital efficiency, settlement and systemic risk reduction in global financial markets. The project was initially incubated as part of the UBS Crypto 2.0 Pathfinder Program, UBS's initiative for research and experimentation on blockchain.
The successful conclusion of this first phase paved the way for the introduction of additional partners: BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santanders.
The group aims to launch the system late next year.