THE LABENBACHER LOG – stories from around the world that you may have missed

The founders of Bank B52 live and breathe hybrid banking – you name it, they have views, and are the go-to sources for information. When it comes to collecting stories from around the banking world, Thomas Labenbacher is a veritable magpie, and here’s the latest tale to catch his eye. Let’s visit Norway…

DNB ASA (Den Norske Bank) is Norway’s largest financial services group, and the IOTA Foundation (IOTA) signed a memorandum of understanding with them on May 31. DNB and IOTA will now cooperate to explore applications of the IOTA Tangle, a ‘third-generation distributed ledger, with the two parties working together to find new business models across their respective industries. Lasse Meholm, Head of DLT at DNB, said that one goal of the project is to better understand the technology and find opportunities for new use cases with clients. He added: “Among other things, the technology is designed to handle hundreds of thousands of microtransactions per second. We will not let go of the market associated with this ecosystem that arises around these transactions.”

One of IOTA’s founders, David Sønstebø, added that he hopes this will soften the relationship Norwegian banks currently have with the crypto industry, saying: “The IOTA Foundation will contribute to separating useless crypto-projects from the serious ones.”

And the B52 takeout? As Thomas remarks: 

While the incumbent banks are trying to get their hands around blockchain technology and how that can help them transform from legacy to a digital core, B52 starts with no legacy. We are launching a dynamic, independent and flexible middleware with smart data management structure to follow the customer wherever they need Bank52, for whatever reason, and with whatever currency.

And another nugget from Norway, the central bank, Norges Bank, is considering developing its own digital currency as a supplement to cash to “ensure confidence in money and the monetary system.”

A report investigates aspects the bank believes should be considered when assessing the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), with three possible CDBC applications: the introduction of a reliable alternative to deposits in private banks, a suitable legal tender as a supplement to cash, and an independent backup solution for electronic payment systems. Norges Bank Governor Øystein Olsen said: “A decline in cash usage has prompted us to think about whether at some future date a number of new attributes that are important for ensuring an efficient and robust payment system and confidence in the monetary system will be needed.”

Commenting for B52 Thomas Labenbacher responds:

In contrast B52 is here to help anyone, already having a bank account to easily manage state owned currencies, fiat and potentially digital currency and any other cryptocurrency or asset as part of their account.


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