Germany’s biggest insurance company, Allianz, has been developing a blockchain-based digital token for payments, similar to investment banking giant JPMorgan’s JPM Coin.
A representative of Allianz told The Block on Friday that the token aims to simplify and accelerate cross-border insurance payments for its corporate customers across 200 countries and territories. The firm, however, stressed that it is “not a cryptocurrency,” referring to an earlier report by Forbes.
“A project team is in the advanced stages of development for a token-based electronic payment system to allow for frictionless, transparent and instantaneous money transfers for a range of different types of payments,” the representative said.
The token will be pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar (USD), according to the firm, similar to JPM Coin that is equivalent to one USD and is also built for “instantaneous” transfer of payments between the bank’s institutional clients. The basic “core” infrastructure has already been built and tested by its business insurance unit Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), according to the insurer. The next step for the project will be a transfer trial.
Allianz joins a growing number of big-name companies who are exploring blockchain technology for quicker payments. Signature Bank, for instance, has built a blockchain-based payments platform called Signet and has on-boarded over 100 clients who are using it to send millions of dollars a day.
Goldman Sachs is also considering launching something akin to JPMCoin. As The Block previously reported, the investment bank is looking to go “further than ever before” with digital assets and blockchain with a new hire.
Earlier this month, retail giant Walmart filed a patent filing that hints at possible plans to issue a USD-pegged stablecoin to provide an alternative choice for low-income households that find banking prohibitively costly. Social media behemoth Facebook is also planning to launch cryptocurrency Libra, with similar ambitions. Libra, however, has faced scrutiny from central banks and politicians around the world over Facebook's well-known privacy issues.
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