Isle of Man-based fintech startup blackfridge has unveiled the “first” British-regulated stablecoin fully-backed 1:1 by pound sterling.
blackfridge works with individuals and institutions, and it says the stablecoin, called ‘poundtoken’ (and with its own website), allows direct GBP access to digital asset markets.
With the crypto sector witnessing chaos, closures and price falls, the fintech company is keen to show it’s the real deal.
blackfridge says holders can redeem their stablecoin for GBP at any moment, with one pound sterling backing every GBPT issued. KMPG has been appointed as its auditors, “whose monthly proof of reserve attestations will confirm that all tokens issued are 100% backed”.
Alan Sun, CEO of blackfridge and poundtoken, comments: “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.”
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Sun wisely mentions no names, but last month Tether said it was launching a British version of its stablecoin. As The Guardian notes, the company claims that every Tether is backed one to one by assets held in reserve, which is how it maintains its stability. It is a different claim from the one it made when it launched its business: that every Tether was backed by US dollars held in reserve. An investigation from the New York attorney general’s office concluded that claim was a “lie” and Tether was barred from operating in New York and fined $18 million (£15 million).
Controversy aside, blackfridge points out that it is regulated and licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority, and is required to hold GBP equal to the value of the tokens issued at all times. (It secured the licence in January 2022.)
The firm says poundtoken offers functionality with various applications, such as emerging metaverse platforms. It has been launched on the Ethereum blockchain, and GBPT will be bridged to allow it to transact across multiple chains.
GBPT is available across such trading platforms as Gate.io, Bittrex Global and Uniswap.
blackfridge was founded in 2020. Earlier this month, the company said it raised a “significant amount” in its pre-Series A round from Gate Ventures and FunFair Ventures. A further round is planned for later this year.
The startup has seven employees listed on LinkedIn.