Capital markets News

PwC China partners Xalts for tokenization

PwC Price Waterhouse Coopers

Yesterday PwC China announced it is partnering with Hong Kong’s Xalts for tokenization infrastructure and programmable assets. Xalts is a Citi backed startup founded in 2022. It provides quick to deploy blockchain solutions on multiple networks as well as applications for trade credit, loyalty, and lending with plans to launch an asset management solution. Xalts acquired Contour, the trade finance blockchain that shuttered last year.

The recently announced Project Ensemble by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) influenced PwC’s timing. HKMA aims to trial a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) for interbank settlement of tokenized deposits. That’s one of the objectives, with the primary purpose of bridging the gap between tokenization and money.

“PwC sees enormous potential for programmable assets to deliver important innovations for the financial services industry, including wholesale payments and trade finance,” said Peter Brewin, Partner, PwC China.

Xalts supports both public and private blockchains, although they all appear to be Ethereum compatible. Apart from Ethereum itself (presumably Geth) it supports Hyperledger Besu, Avalanche, Polygon and Optimism. The Corda DLT is not mentioned, but the Contour solution was Corda-based. Deployments include Asian clouds such as Alibaba and Tencent, as well as AWS, Google and Azure.

Hong Kong is making rapid strides in tokenization and digital currency. In February the city state issued the world’s largest digital bond, a green bond with an issuance size in excess of $750 million. In the span of one week in March it launched Project Ensemble, a stablecoin sandbox, plus the second phase of its retail CBDC trials.