Stronghold, a financial institution building an asset-agnostic global payment and trade ecosystem, announced the first and only venture-backed USD Anchor on the Stellar Network, an open-source protocol for value exchange. The ‘Stronghold USD’ token is asset-backed (at one-to-one U.S. dollars per coin) with reserves held by a state-chartered trust company. Stronghold, which recently raised seed funding from Freestyle Capital, will use Stellar’s blockchain protocol to issue and transact Stronghold USD while providing access to liquidity through its institutional exchange services and the custodial relationship with its partnered trust company.
Stronghold also announced a new collaboration with IBM to explore uses for Stronghold USD within blockchain business networks on the IBM Blockchain Platform. The aim is to experiment with ways for financial institutions and other organizations to achieve faster, safer and more efficient transaction processing and money transfer throughout the world’s economy.
The effective use of an asset-backed token (with reserves held at a regulated, state-chartered trust company), like Stronghold USD, can act as a new liquidity tool for real-time foreign exchange and international settlement, as well as enable banks to issue credit into transactional networks and trade ecosystems. The unique attributes of such tokens harness the promise of cryptocurrencies, while also limiting price volatility, adhering to the rigors and integrity of sound monetary policy, and providing support for industries that have regulatory compliance requirements.
The intent of issuing a token, like Stronghold USD, is to strengthen confidence in the practical application of stable coins for routine transactions by addressing the challenges associated with previous attempts at fiat-backed coins, where limited transparency into the underlying reserves guaranteeing the coin’s value prevented broad adoption.
Since federally-insured cash deposits back Stronghold USD, it is not subject to the price volatility of a pure cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ether. Stronghold USD still provides the benefits of secure, immediate exchangeability, anywhere, anytime, with low transaction costs and fewer intermediaries than traditional bank transfers. This makes Stronghold USD practical for everyday transactions, large value payments and international wire transfers. Stronghold USD are pre-approved tokens that are solely designed as a B2B solution for financial institutions, multinational corporations, and asset managers. At this time, the tokens are not available for retail customers but may be available in the coming months. Using Stellar’s hyper-advanced blockchain protocol, Stronghold’s platform can support digital assets and efficiently scale-up to multiple fiat currencies.