NAB completes world-first with cross-border stablecoin transaction

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NAB has completed an intra-bank cross-border transaction using NAB-issued stablecoin, which represents a world-first by a major financial institution on a layer-one public blockchain.

This pilot transaction on the public and permissionless Ethereum blockchain, involved deployment of stablecoin smart contracts for seven major global currencies. The pilot’s success demonstrates the potential to cut cross-border transactions from days to minutes and brings NAB one step closer to enabling clients who operate in multiple jurisdiction and currencies a simpler and faster experience, starting with corporate and institutional clients.

NAB Executive General Manager, Markets, Drew Bradford, said NAB was investing to develop Australia’s safest, simplest and most secure digital asset ecosystem.

“We are committed to pursuing the right digital asset opportunities with clear customer benefits. Bringing multi-currency stablecoins to market demonstrates NAB’s focus on simplifying international banking protocols to increase speed and transparency while lowering costs and reducing complexity for customers,” Mr Bradford said.

“We believe that elements of the future of finance will be blockchain enabled and we’re already witnessing rapid change in the tokenisation market. The stringent governance frameworks we have in place ensures we can support the creation of a safe and reliable digital financial system.”

NAB’s Australian stablecoin, AUDN, which will be fully backed one-for-one with the Australian dollar and managed as a liability of the bank, will be the cornerstone for NAB’s ambitions in digital assets. In addition, transacting on a public, permissionless layer-one blockchain will allow for greater transparency, accessibility and scalability.

NAB has partnered with leading technology providers Blockfold and Fireblocks for this pilot to build and deploy its stablecoins. This includes leveraging their expertise for smart contract creation, securely minting and burning its stablecoin and managing the direct custody of the digital assets on the blockchain technology.

Fireblocks CEO and Co-founder, Michael Shaulov, said: “Australia continues to be a global torch bearer for tokenisation in financial services, with NAB leading the charge in the world’s first use case of a large financial institution leveraging a public blockchain for cross-border payment rails. NAB’s successful trade execution marks the beginning of the evolution of financial services from Web2 to Web3, underpinned by blockchain technology as well as strong governance and risk management”.

BlockFold CEO and Co-founder, Francois Schonken, said: “NAB’s multi-currency cross border settlement execution on a public blockchain is exhilarating. This trade marks the first cross-border multi-currency exchange executed by a regulated large financial institution (NAB) backed stablecoin. The NAB eco-system of stablecoins puts in place cross-border payment rails that unlock tokenization potential for both real world assets and financial products”.

Notes to editors:

  • NAB’s ambition is to enable transactions across seven of the top globally utilised currencies: Australian, New Zealand, Singapore and US dollars, Euro, Yen and Pound Sterling.
  • NAB expects to be supporting select corporate and institutional clients to transact using digital assets by the end of 2023.
  •  The transaction was completed using NAB’s own, newly minted ERC-20 tokens.

About Fireblocks

Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Fireblocks enables exchanges, custodians, banks, fintechs, and hedge funds to securely scale digital asset operations through the Fireblocks Network and MPC-based Wallet Infrastructure. Fireblocks serves over 1,600 financial institutions, has secured the transfer of over $3 trillion in digital assets and has a unique insurance policy that covers assets in storage and transit. Some of the biggest crypto businesses have switched to Fireblocks because it’s the only solution that CISOs and Ops Teams both love. For more information, please visit www.fireblocks.com.

About BlockFold

BlockFold is a professional services consultancy specialising in tokenisation and smart contract development. Our mission is to rebuild the global financial system on secure, open and transparent standards. We work with some of the largest global financial institutions to help them leverage blockchain technology to issue and trade stablecoins, bonds, carbon credits and real world assets. For more information, please visit blockfold.com.

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