A Bitcoin remittance startup located in Hong Kong has announced that it has launched the world’s first stablecoin pegged to the Hong Kong dollar.
Founded in 2014, Bitspark was created to enable the process of sending money across borders without the use of banks. Through its cashless money transfer system it permits companies and people to cash-in and cash-out cryptocurrencies across Asia and Africa.
Now, in what is considered a world first, Bitspark has launched Sparkdex.HKD, a stablecoin pegged to the Hong Kong dollar. At the end of October, 2018, Sparkdex.HKD started listing on Sparkdex, the remittance startup’s decentralised exchange (DEX), as well as Bitshares’ connected DEX.
Sparkdex.HKD is tied to Bitspark’s reserves of physical cash in Hong Kong dollars. In an announcement, it was noted that it will be regularly audited by a local audit firm in a quarterly report made available for the public.
Speaking of the announcement, Maxine Ryan, co-founder and COO of Bitspark, said that the launch of Sparkdex.HKD was a “clear opportunity for Bitspark to bring the benefits of this technology to Asia.”
“We’re planning to also launch a further 179+ stablecoins to service the company’s money transfer markets starting initially with emerging and frontier markets,” she added.
The launch of the first Hong Kong dollar stablecoin by Bitspark marks it as the first ever crypto money transfer platform to experiment with and use stablecoins for cross-border transactions.
Familar stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar include the Gemini dollar (GUSD), True USD (TUSD), and Coinbase and Circle’s USDC. The first stablecoin to enter the scene was Tether (USDT). However, in recent months it has come under increasing scrutiny due to its supposed influence in inflating the price of Bitcoin.
George Harrap, co-founder and CEO of Bitspark, said that until now, U.S. dollar stablecoins have “dominated” the market despite the fact that there are other currencies in the world.
“We are proud to have pioneered this landmark first for both the cryptocurrency and traditional finance industry, and anticipate that this will lead the way for much-needed diversity among other currencies within the stablecoin sector,” Harrap added.
Earlier this month, it was reported the Huobi Group is planning to launch its own stablecoin in the first half of 2019. Whereas, according to eToro, a social trading platform, a preference for stablecoins as alternatives will continue throughout the year, with mainstream tokens remaining “risky” in the eyes of many.