The USD Anchor stablecoin is collateralized with US dollars matching the value of the token. There are a clutch of stablecoins on the market, the most well-used of which is Tether. Tether is mired in controversy because of doubts about the extent to which it is backed by dollars.
USD Anchor differs from Tether and all other stablecoins in that it will have an insurance element. The dollar collateral is held via the Prime Trust at US banks that are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved.
The move by IBM adds to the credibility of crypto as a means of exchange. In particular, IBM sees USD Anchor as a means to reduce the cost of cross border transaction. As such it could be a threat to the position of Ripple which has pitched its XRP token to facilitate cheap cross-border transactions.
In a sign of the interest in the stablecoin space, Circle announced in May that it was developing a stablecoin called US Dollar Coin. Chief executive Jeremy Allaire said at the time: “A core part of vision is open-protocols that would enable the free movement of value. A real critical piece is there has to be open, interoperable standards for our how fiat money can move over blockchains. That’s where fiat stablecoins and payment protocols come into play.”
Stellar v Ripple
Stellar was founded by Jed McCaleb in 2014. McCaleb is a co-founder of Ripple and the now defunct Mt.Gox crypto exchange. The Stellar Lumens network is a not-for-profit organisation.
Stellar has worked with IBM to develop cross-border payments system in South Asia. It has lined up major banks and other financial institutions in its trials, including Deloitte.
Asset management giant BlackRock was an early donor to the Stallar Foundation.