Raiffeisen Bank in Austria is working on a pilot project for a digital national currency

While global jurisdictions are moving forward with digital currencies from central banks, private institutions are also working on the digitization of national currencies. Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), one of Austria’s leading banks, is working on a new way of converting national currencies using blockchain technology.

RBI is extending its collaboration with the British-Polish firm, Billon, after a successful trial of end-to-end digitized national currency transfers.

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RBI Coin is designed to speed up cross-border transactions
As announced on May 18th, RBI and Billon are working on the initial stages of an RBI token platform, currently called RBI Coin. The pilot is scheduled to run through the end of 2020 and is designed to speed up cross-border inter-bank or inter-company transactions and improve liquidity management, the companies said.

According to the announcement, RBI Coin was developed by Billon as part of RBI-Billon’s previous collaboration, the Elevator Lab program. Reportedly completed on March 5, the Elevator Lab program implements Billon’s blockchain technology to enable electronic money transactions with digitized euros.

RBI Coin will be linked 1:1 to the euro or any other national currency of the EEC
If successful, the pilot project is expected to be launched in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries of RBI’s operation, the bank said. Those countries include Belarus, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, among others.

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An RBI spokesman explained to Cointelegraph that the bank is still in discussions with its subsidiary banks in CEE to determine which banks would participate in the pilot. „We believe that the first tests would cover money transfers between Austria and an RBI subsidiary in another EEC country,“ the representative said.

Depending on which country joins the pilot, Bitcoin Circuit, Bitcoin Trader, Bitcoin Evolution, Bitcoin Billionaire, Bitcoin Revolution, The News Spy, Bitcoin Profit, Bitcoin Era, Immediate Edge, Bitcoin Code will be linked 1:1 to the euro or any other national currency operating in a selected country. The RBI spokesman said:

„The currencies deployed will depend on the countries participating in the pilot project, so the platform could also include the euro and other national currencies“.

Raiffeisen is actively experimenting with blockchain technology

The news comes after Billon was selected to participate in RBI’s Elevator Lab Partnership Program in November 2019. As part of the partnership, Billon used its blockchain technology to coin, transfer and redeem tokenized euros.

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The Elevator Lab Partnership Program is just one example of Raiffeisen’s extensive blockchain and tokenization efforts. In October 2019, RBI participated in the Ivno Global Tokenized Collateral Trial, a token based on the R3 blockchain platform, Corda. Previously, RBI’s Russian subsidiary bank developed a blockchain-based platform for liquidation by holding companies.