Today, Canada’s VersaBank announced plans to issue a Canadian dollar stablecoin VCAD, one-to-one backed by a Canadian dollar deposit at the bank. If you haven’t heard of the chartered bank before, it’s because it’s not Canada’s biggest, with a market capitalization of CAD 288 million ($229 million). The bank also wants to leverage its own “digital bank vault” technology created by its subsidiary DRT Cyber.
To issue the stablecoin, it has partnered with Stablecorp, a joint venture between crypto asset manager 3iQ and Mavennet. The latter is known for developing blockchain applications for enterprises such as steel and oil traceability for the Canadian and U.S. governments.
VersaBank doesn’t intend to deal with end-users directly. Instead, it will issue stablecoins to “financial intermediary partners” in exchange for Canadian dollar deposits. In turn, those intermediaries can offer the redeemable stablecoin to consumers and businesses.
“As North America’s first bank-issued “stablecoin”, VCAD offers consumers and businesses the ability to adopt and leverage the benefits of digital currency and blockchain-based assets without the volatility of traditional currencies, alongside the security of a value-backed asset that the cryptocurrency world has long demanded,” said David Taylor, President of both VersaBank and its cyber security subsidiary, DRT Cyber.
VersaBank and StableCorp also plan to offer VUS and VEuro stablecoins in future.
StabeCorp’s CEO Jean Desgagne is an accountant and Vice Chair of Ontario’s accounting body. He also chairs the internal audit committee for the IT Sector of the Province of Ontario. StableCorp already has its own stablecoin, the QCAD.
Meanwhile, JP Morgan is looking to ramp up its JPM Coin activities. To date, the JPM Coin would be classed more as a settlement token than a pure stablecoin in that it is used to convert part of a company’s bank balance into a coin for the purposes of payments, and converted back to a bank balance by the recipient. JPM Coin is also being used in an interbank multi-currency payments network being developed in Singapore.