Citigroup has introduced Citi Token Services, a private, permissioned blockchain to offer cross-border payments, liquidity, and automated trade finance solutions to institutional clients. The new services “will integrate tokenized deposits and smart contracts into Citi’s global network,” according to a statement.
Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS), which has banking licenses in over 90 countries, has completed two pilots of the service. It worked with Danish shipping company Maersk and an unnamed canal authority on a program that made instant payments to service providers via smart contracts, reducing transaction processing time from days to minutes. The service replaces bank guarantees and letters of credit, the statement said.
A second pilot enabled clients to transfer liquidity between Citi branches around the clock, reducing “frictions related to cut off times and gaps in the service window,” TTS Global head of digital assets Ryan Rugg said. He continued:
“Our solutions within the Citi network are complemented by inclusive and open industry collaboration on initiatives like the Regulated Liability Network.”
Regulated Liability Network (RLN) technology was introduced in November 2022. Citi was among the large financial institutions that participated in a proof-of-concept headed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that concluded in July.
RLN infrastructure places assets and liabilities on the same ledger to provide atomic settlement. It is one of a few “unified ledger” proposals that have emerged in recent months. The new Citi service uses deposit tokens, which are tokenized commercial bank money.
In light of the Citi Token Services announcement, don’t forget they’re building a separate protocol to sidestep #Bitcoin, called Regulated Liability Network. From the RLN website: pic.twitter.com/2dUYJX4zK0
— Cameron Otsuka (@CameronOtsuka) September 18, 2023
JPMorgan is also reportedly exploring the use of deposit tokens. That technology was pioneered in Project Guardian, launched in May 2022 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, in which JPMorgan participated.