Banking News

R3 acquires tech for stablecoins, blockchain-based bank coins

global payments

Today R3 announced that it acquired the intellectual property and team behind Ivno, the tokenization platform. The technology enables the issuance of stablecoins but also allows different bank coins or settlement tokens to be interchangeable.

Ivno’s platform uses R3’s enterprise blockchain Corda and smart contracts to tokenize a variety of assets ranging from cash and collateral to artwork. However, we believe it’s been spending considerable time working on cash tokenization with R3. And a large number of financial institutions use R3’s technology.

Ivno’s focus has been on both Corda-based tokens and also APIs to connect tokens to other platforms.

“Digital cash and tokenized liquid assets represent one of the biggest innovations in financial markets,” said Todd McDonald, Chief Product Officer of R3, in a statement today. “The underlying technology provides an opportunity to significantly optimize the cost and speed of financial transactions.” 

He continued, “The acquisition of Ivno’s high-quality software built on Corda significantly accelerates R3’s ability to offer enterprise-grade and regulatory-friendly stablecoin issuance capabilities to our customers. As the first step, Ivno’s capabilities will be integrated with the R3 Sandbox for Digital Currencies.”

When we spoke to Ivno CEO Aaron Grantham back in April, we asked him for a prediction about interoperable bank coins or settlement tokens. For example, hypothetically, in what time frame an institution such as Bank of America might exchange coins with JP Morgan. “I’d be surprised if that didn’t happen this year. But I don’t know,” said Grantham, not talking about any particular bank. “And to be honest, I don’t think that technology is the limiting factor to that.” The real hurdle is organizational, more explicitly making the decision.

There are multiple groups working on exchangeable bank tokens. These include Partior in Singapore, working on an interbank payments system being developed by DBS Bank, JP Morgan and Temasek. And UK-based Fnality backed by 14 banks and Nasdaq is looking to tokenize central bank money.

Also of note is Ivno’s CTO, Ryan Gledhill, who is a Corda expert but has a strong Ethereum background. He’d likely have his hands full just on Ivno work. However, as we previously reported, R3 also has an exploratory project based on Ethereum to bring DeFi into a regulatory compliant perimeter and prevent the frontrunning of prices.