Blockchain for Banking News

National Australia Bank shutters stablecoin project

stablecoin digital currency australian dollar

The National Australia Bank has shuttered its stablecoin project, AUDN, the Australian Financial Review reported today. The core team, including long time NAB staff, left the bank to start an independent Australian dollar stablecoin, Ubiquity, as part of the Australian blockchain firm CloudTech Group.

NAB started the AUDN project in late 2022, essentially as a tokenized deposit targeted at corporate and institutional clients. The bank envisaged clients using it for cross border transactions, carbon credit settlement and repurchase agreements. Last year it ran an intrabank trial involving seven different currencies.

NAB gave the reason for ending the project as a lack of customer demand but is still developing an institutional crypto custody offering. We’d note that the settlement of tokenized carbon credits was one of the objectives, and NAB is a founder of Carbonplace, a distribution network backed by several international banks. Carbonplace was initially developed as a blockchain-based project, but ditched the technology. Hence, that removed potential demand for one of the use cases.

The Australian Financial Review reported that Australian digital asset firms want local stablecoins for on-chain settlement. Otherwise, they are exposed to foreign exchange risk if they use a US dollar stablecoin. Other local stablecoin initiatives include ANZ’s A$DC and Novatti’s AUDD.