KPMG to audit Blackfridge’s Sterling-pegged stablecoin

abdelaziz Fathi

FinTech firm Blackfridge has rolled out a British Pound-pegged stablecoin, providing a liquid and stable means of obtaining exposure to the UK currency.

The “pound token,” aka GBPT, will be fully backed by Sterling-denominated reserves held in the custody of financial institutions that fall within the regulatory perimeter of Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.

Acting as a sort of safe haven where crypto traders can park their assets in volatile markets, the poundtoken GBPT will operate as an Ethereum-based ERC-20 coin, which makes it easy for wallets, exchanges and other smart contracts to interact with the token. Those looking to buy or convert to GBPT can do so across top exchanges including Gate.io, Bittrex Global and Uniswap, with more platforms to join the listing shortly.

“Following the boom in decentralised finance, stablecoins have become an integral part of the crypto sector,” commented Nicholas Maybin, COO of poundtoken. “Many are aware that the crypto market can be unpredictable, so when trading a stablecoin it’s vital to know that you will always be able to take out what you put in. In addition to robust regulation we’re excited to have KPMG auditing poundtoken in this new exciting time to crypto and hope to bring further reassurance to those involved in the space.”

Alan Sun, CEO of poundtoken, said: “It’s no secret that the last few weeks have been difficult for the cryptocurrency markets, particularly for unregulated or unbacked stablecoins such as UST. For stablecoin holders, GBPT offers a unique combination: the stability of the British pound, and the reassurance of strict British financial regulations, combined with the speed, transparency, and integrity of the blockchain.”

Interestingly, the poundtoken GBPT will undergo a thorough ‘proof of reserves’ audit every month. The inspection will be conducted by Big Four giant KPMG LLP, a group that provides audit, tax and advisory services to businesses in 152 countries worldwide.

Demand for stablecoins has been surging

While the landscape for stablecoins is still in its infancy, its potential has led the world’s leading accounting firms to explore ways to implement the emerging technology in their work. Meanwhile, the pro-crypto push may not only aim to lower transaction costs for its advisory ‎services but seems part of a wider strategy to promote the developments of digital products. Also, other professional services providers have been eyeing this trend for quite some ‎time as Bitcoin, and other established cryptocurrencies have now been more broadly accepted ‎as forms of settlement.‎

KPMG LLP is one of the famed Big Four tax and accounting companies in the world, which also includes Deloitte, PwC, and Ernst & Young, all of which generate yearly revenues of over $20 billion.

The Sterling stablecoin is launching at a time of major declines in the broader cryptocurrency market, which has led crypto firms to fail and erase billions of dollars of digital assets.

While lawmakers in the European Union are in the process of setting up rules for stablecoin issuers, the UK regulators haven’t yet decided whether to introduce a digital version of the British pound. However, the government is reportedly exploring the use cases and risks involved if it were to proceed. The Bank of England also set up a new unit dedicated to exploring a central bank digital currency.

Demand for stablecoins in the e-commerce and payment space has been surging as the fiat-backed tokens allow users and merchants to avoid volatility. Moreover, online retailers and payment gateways benefited from faster, cheaper transactions as compared to credit cards and traditional payment systems.

This trend was driven by growing interest in decentralised finance (DeFi) and OTC desks that use the token to settle block trades over-the-counter.

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