Fluency, a company that’s introducing a proprietary central bank digital currency or CBDC-focused blockchain enterprise platform, has received $1.3 million as part of a seed funding round from Europe-based investors (at a $23.5 million pre-money valuation).
In statements shared with Finextra, Fluency Chief Executive Inga Mullins, noted that their proprietary tech, Aureum, enables the issuance, distribution and exchange of CBDCs between reserve banks, commercial banking platforms, merchants as well as individual consumers.
At present, there are reportedly no competing services for launching CBDC networks that have been developed from the ground up, or may completely satisfy CBDC requirements, while providing flexible features to reserve banks, according to Inga Mullins.
Aureum is described as a permissioned (or private), enterprise-grade smart contract solution the supports the issuance, distribution and exchange of different CBDCs (or mCBDCs) between central banks, commercial banking institutions, merchants and individual consumers.
Mullins claims that other platforms have not been developed specifically for CBDCs, and might not have the ability to offer key features like offline payments processing, international CBDC transactions, relevant policy separations, and the ability to offer a privacy protocol.
Since introducing the Aureum CBDC prototype in February of this year, various US and Europe-based reserve banks have reportedly been looking into Aureum as their tech provider for the issuance of a CBDC.
Fluency’s Aureum has the Freedom To Operate (FTO) and the firm also filed for privacy protocol and offline protocol patent protection.
Mullins added that they aim to encourage “diversity in payment options by increasing financial inclusion and the possibility to facilitate fiscal transfers at times of economic crisis, such as a pandemic.”
She also noted that you may see, for example, in the US when the federal government was “hoping to transfer money (Covid stimulus) using cheques to the public, and had massive problems with offline payments, not many of them have access to the Internet in rural areas.” She pointed out that the same is “seen in emerging markets and that’s exactly what we will be addressing.”
Mullins further revealed that when she first began working on their tech in 2019, not many people actually understood what CBDCs were and how they could benefit organizations and individuals.
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the cashless economy by around 5 years, Mullins claims, while adding that CBDCs could potentially be the future of digital transactions.
The company’s board members reportedly include Zeeshan Feroz, ex- CEO at Coinbase UK and Glenn Kim, ex- financial advisor to the Federal Republic of Germany’s Finanzagentur, Republic of Iceland and the Hellenic Republic.
The company’s head offices are located in London. It maintains additional offices in Dublin and New York.