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Barclays, HSBC and Citi collaborate to pilot tokenized deposits in UK

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Barclays, HSBC and Citi collaborate to pilot tokenized deposits in UK

Barclays, HSBC, and Citi, among other U.K. financial institutions, are embarking on a joint venture to pilot tokenized deposits.

A group of British banks, including Barclays and Citigroup, is working on a new pilot of tokenized deposits aimed at enhancing the tracking of banking payments. In a press release on Apr. 15, the British trade association UK Finance revealed that the lenders are embarking on the “UK Regulated Liability Network” experimentation phase, utilizing a “shared ledger” to streamline cross-border transactions.

“We hope these experiments will provide insights into how a common platform for innovation could enhance customer experiences with new payments functionality and also mitigate the risk of fragmentation in retail payment markets.” Lee Braine, Barclays chief technology office

In a commentary to Bloomberg, Quant CEO Gilbert Verdian indicated that participating firms are expected to utilize the trial platform for a period of two to three years before the technology is commercially implemented. Alongside banks and Quant, payment systems such as Mastercard, NatWest, Nationwide, and others are also actively involved in the pilot.

Scheduled to continue until the summer of 2024, the experimentation phase will concentrate on various aspects, including assessing customer and business benefits, evaluating technical feasibility, and addressing the legal framework pertaining to the operation of a shared ledger settlement system.

While it’s unclear whether the “shared ledger” is being developed on an existing blockchain network, other entities are exploring the integration of their tokenization services with existing products. For instance, in early April, Hong Kong’s investment banking firm GF Securities made headlines by launching a local tokenized commercial paper on the Ethereum blockchain, marking a major milestone in the local digital asset ecosystem.