European financial institution KBC Group launches its own digital coin
Based in Brussels KBC Groupwhich is “a leading European financial group specializing in the provision of bancassurance products and services to individuals, SMEs and ETIs”, announced the launch of “Kate Coin”.
According to KBC Press releaseKBC is “the first financial institution in Europe to be ready to deploy its own digital coin based on blockchain technology”.
KBC CEO Johan Thijs said:
“KBC has always been at the forefront of new developments such as mobile banking, the digital assistant and the blockchain… With the Kate Coin, we are entering this new world and once again confirming our position as a leader and reference in terms of digital banking insurance…
“The Kate Coin is a digital coin (electronic money token) based on blockchain technology and developed entirely within KBC. Soon, KBC1 private customers will be able to acquire Kate Coins and use them efficiently via their Kate Coin wallet in KBC Mobile. This takes place in a so-called “closed loop” environment, a closed environment outside of which the Kate Coin has no value.
“First in KBC’s banking and insurance environment, but over time a whole world of application possibilities will open up in the wider ecosystem. Indeed, some KBC corporate customers, third parties or partners who already offer their services via KBC Mobile and its 1.8 million users have developed their own ecosystem. They could also offer Kate Coins and, together with KBC, diversify and further develop their business.
“Powered by the Kate digital assistant, the Kate Coin will proactively make life easier for our customers across the KBC group, now and in the future. The combination of the Kate digital assistant and the Kate Coin will save KBC customers time and money. The first concrete steps are now underway within KBC in Belgium, but the Kate Coin will eventually be rolled out across the entire KBC group.
“On Sunday, June 19, Werchter Boutique will be the scene of the first large-scale test of the Kate Coin. No less than 8,000 KBC employees present at the festival will be able to pay for snacks and drinks with Kate Coins.“
Erik Luts, Chief Innovation Officer KBC Group, added:
“The blockchain technology used by KBC ensures that the Kate Coin is fully programmable. KBC may impose specific conditions on both the acquisition and use of Kate Coin. This allows flexibility in, for example, the number of parts in exchange for a specific service, the scope of a part acquired, or the period during which it can be used for this purpose.
“The customer can acquire Kate Coins based on a certain loyalty, during a certain product purchase, if he performs certain actions… and can use these KBC Coins again, for example for a discount on another product KBC. Customers who want to use Kate Coin do not have to do anything: they automatically receive Kate Coins in their Kate Coin wallet in KBC Mobile and Kate keeps them personally informed: why they receive Kate Coins, how long they can be used , etc.”
The press release also mentioned that “Kate Coins are not transferable to other KBC customers and cannot be exchanged for euros”.
He went on to say:
“Kate Coin is fully backed by KBC and pegged to the Euro on a 1:1 basis (at a rate of 1 Euro per Kate Coin), meaning volatility and speculation are not an issue. Kate Coin will of course fully comply with the applicable European and national regulatory or legislative framework. All transactions take place in KBC’s trusted environment, a private blockchain operated by KBC, where KBC controls who has access.
“As a ‘digital coin’, Kate Coin is therefore fundamentally different from stablecoins and virtual currencies (on the global blockchain network) which are better known to the general public and which are characterized by their speculative nature, their high volatility and the lack of applicable regulations. .“