One of the promises of public blockchains is being able to use them to securely issue digital tokens that are pegged to real world assets.
However, the “real world” isn’t well acquainted with the cryptoeconomy yet, so for now it’s notable when any important regulatory body gives the nod to digital tokens. Related threads worth watching this week hail from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), the state of New York’s top financial watchdog and creators of the BitLicense business license.
Why? Because on September 5th the NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell announced the department had greenlighted Binance’s “BUSD” dollar stablecoin and Paxos’s new gold-backed crypto “PAX Gold” to be offered in the state. That’s no small matter either, as New York is one of the largest economies in the United States.
In this sense, these tokens’ go-aheads are only the latest dominoes to drop as the march of tokenization continues to progress toward the mainstream.
For her part, Superintendent Lacewell said the approvals showed the department was a leading presence in the digital asset ecosystem and that the body was determined to keep up its mission of protecting its citizens
“DFS is committed to encouraging innovation while providing regulatory oversight to keep New Yorkers and the rapidly evolving financial services market safe and sound,” Lacewell said.
Pax Gold (PAXG) First of Its Kind in New York
Paxos, formally the Paxos Trust Company, are no strangers to working with the NYDFS. For one, the company already earned the department’s blessing to offer its Paxos Standard (PAX) token in the state as of last fall.
Moreover, the watchdog granted a charter to Paxos in the spring of 2015, which allowed the company to operate the itBit cryptocurrency exchange in New York. Now, the private and public sector collaborators have broken new ground with Pax Gold, as it’s the first time the NYDFS has approved a gold-backed cryptocurrency.
PAXG itself is built on Ethereum, with each token being pegged to a different one ounce gold bar held in a Brink’s vault in London. Users won’t have to travel to London to redeem the tokens as they will be good at Brink’s partner exchanges in the state.
It’s all about making access to gold easier, Paxos co-founder and chief executive officer Charles Cascarilla noted in a press release.
“By releasing a regulated product that makes it easy to own or trade gold, we’re using blockchain technology to democratize access to a multi-trillion-dollar market and bring gold into the digital future,” he said.
Binance USD Gives the Exchange a Nice Foothold in U.S.
Earlier this year, Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance revealed it was planning to open up a trading platform in America dubbed Binance US.
With that said, the exchange surely wouldn’t mind having a USD stablecoin that is assuredly legally compliant prepped for listing on that platform. The NYDFS approval pushes Binance USD in that direction.
Built in partnership with Paxos, BUSD will be issued on Ethereum later this month, with its 1:1 dollar reserves set to be custodied by Paxos. When trading of BUSD starts on Binance.com, it will only be available for trading against bitcoin, XRP, and BNB at first.
— Binance (@binance) September 5, 2019
“We hope to unlock more financial services for the greater blockchain ecosystem through the issuance of BUSD, including more use cases and utility through the power of stable digital assets,” Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said.
It’s not the first time the exchange giant has launched a stablecoin this year, as Binance unveiled its pound-pegged Binance GBP (BGBP) back in the summer. The exchange more recently revealed the Venus project, which is set to be like a regional version of the Facebook Libra stablecoin.