ANZ’s stablecoin used to buy tokenized carbon credits

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ANZ’s stablecoin A$DC has been used to buy Australian tokenized carbon credits, marking another critical test of the asset’s use cases in the local economy.

In March, the “Big Four” bank became the first major Australian financial institution to mint its own stablecoin after overseeing a pilot transaction worth 30 million AUD ($20.76 million) between Victor Smorgon Group and digital asset manager Zerocap.

ANZ’s stablecoin is fully collateralized by Australian dollars (AUD) held in the bank’s managed reserved account. So far, A$DC transactions have primarily been conducted over the Ethereum blockchain.

According to a June 27 report from the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the latest transaction saw its long-time institutional partner Victor Smorgon use A$DC to purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

The carbon credits were tokenized and provided by BetaCarbon, a blockchain-based carbon trading platform that issues digital security assets dubbed “BCAUs,” which represent one kilogram of carbon offsets per credit.

The transaction also saw participation from Zerocap again, who provided market-making services and liquidity by exchanging the A$DC sent from Victor Smorgon into USD Coin (USDC) so that BetaCarbon could accept the deal. The value of the transaction has not been specified, however.

In terms of the bank’s outlook on the crypto/blockchain sector, ANZ’s banking services portfolio lead Nigel Dobson told the AFR that the firm is looking at blockchain tech as a means of “pursuing the transition of financial market infrastructure” and is not necessarily interested in speculative crypto assets themselves.

“We see this is evolving from being internet-protocol based to one of ‘tokenized’ protocols. We think the underlying infrastructure – efficient, secure, public blockchains – will facilitate transactions, both ones we understand today and new ones that will be more efficient.”

Dobson echoed similar sentiments at the Chainalysis Links event in Sydney on June 21, noting that ANZ promptly “banned the word crypto immediately in all of our internal communications and narrative” when it started exploring blockchain tech a few years ago.

He went on to add that the bank has explored multiple use cases for blockchain tech, such as supply chain tracking and providing on-ramps via stablecoins for institutions to invest in digital assets. However, Dobson suggested that tokenized carbon credits were a key area that the bank has been gearing up for:

“Another area where we have a strong position in terms of sustainability is where we feel the tokenization of carbon credits and marketplaces driven by tokenized assets and tokenized value exchange will be really efficient.”

Related: BTC Markets becomes first Australian crypto firm to get a financial services license

At the start of this month, ANZ ruled out offering any crypto exposure to retail investors due to their lack of financial literacy.

Maile Carnegie, an executive for retail banking, noted at the Australian Financial Review Banking Summit that “the vast majority of them don’t understand really basic financial well-being concepts.”