Fluency, a startup launching a proprietary CBDC blockchain enterprise platform, has announced its $1.3 million in seed funding from various European based investors, at a $23.5m pre-money valuation.
Exclusively speaking to Finextra, Fluency’s CEO Inga Mullins, commented on the need for their platform. “Our proprietary technology, Aureum, allows for the issuance, distribution and exchange of CBDC between central banks, commercial banks, merchants and consumers. Currently there are no competing solutions for implementing CBDC networks that have been built from scratch, or can completely fulfil CBDC needs, and also offer flexible features to central banks.”
Aureum is a permissioned, enterprise smart contract platform that allows issuance, distribution and exchange of multi-CBDCs (mCBDCs) between central banks, commercial banks, merchants and consumers.
Mullins commented that other platforms, which were not built specifically for CBDCs, may not have the capability to deliver crucial features such as offline payments, cross-border CBDC transfers, policy separations, and privacy protocol.
Since the launch of Aureum’s CBDC prototype in February 2021, several major US and European-based central banks have expressed their interest to pursue Aureum as their technology provider for the creation and management of a CBDC. Fluency’s Aureum has the Freedom To Operate (FTO) and the company has also recently filed for privacy protocol and offline protocol patent protection.
On this, Mullins continued, “We promote diversity in payment options by increasing financial inclusion and the possibility to facilitate fiscal transfers at times of economic crisis, such as a pandemic. You could see for instance, in the U.S. 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. The same is seen in emerging markets and that's exactly what we will be addressing.”
With regards to the recent developments in CBDCs, Mullins commented, “When we started working on our technology back in 2019, nobody understood what a CBDC was. Covid has sped up the process of going cashless by around three to five years. CBDC is the future of digital payments. It will counter volatility, high cost and insecurity of private cryptocurrencies.”
The firm's board includes Zeeshan Feroz, former CEO of Coinbase UK and Glenn Kim, former senior financial advisor to the Federal Republic of Germany's Finanzagentur, Republic of Iceland and the Hellenic Republic. They are headquartered in London with subsidiaries in New York and Dublin.