Topics Stablecoin
Bybit Learn
Bybit Learn
Intermediate
Jul 26, 2022

GBP Stablecoin (GBPT): The First Pound Sterling–Backed Coin

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies with prices pegged to asset classes such as fiat currency, crypto, or such commodities as precious or industrial metals. The objective of creating crypto pegged to another asset is to minimize price volatility, a key obstacle to the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies.

As a result, creating crypto linked to a relatively stable asset could help increase user confidence. Stablecoins are meant to drive the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology. 

This article introduces the GBPT, the first pound sterling–backed crypto. We'll look at how it works, its objectives and how it fares compared to other stablecoins. 

What Is GBPT?

GBPT is a regulated-stablecoin cryptocurrency backed 100 percent by the Great British Pound Sterling (GBP) held in bank accounts. This means that GBPT, also known as “poundtoken,” can be redeemed one-for-one with the pound sterling.

The poundtoken was launched by the Isle of Man–based Blackfridge SC Ltd, a fully regulated fintech company backed by British financial regulations. The initial launch was on the Ethereum blockchain, but the team has plans to bridge to other blockchains. The new stablecoin can be bought and traded on Gate.io, Uniswap and Bittrex. Blackfridge is working on listing it on other exchanges as part of their road map.

With the collapse of the Terra UST stablecoin, many investors lost funds, which, understandably, spooked the crypto space and shook confidence in the supposedly “stable” stablecoins. Blackfridge aims to restore public confidence by assurances of a stablecoin backed by solid reserves of the almighty pound sterling. Many other stablecoins are not backed 100 percent by fiat currency. GBPT is also not a central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued as a digital version of a fiat currency that’s considered legal tender.

To further assure users, poundtoken has the distinct advantage of being audited by the reputable auditor KPMG. They provide monthly proof of reserves, meaning they have to show investors that each coin issued remains completely backed by GBP held in reserves. 

Why Was GBPT Launched?

The GBP stablecoin was launched to offer a GBP-linked coin and thereby accelerate adoption among GBP holders. GBPT also makes it convenient for users to directly convert fiat GBP to cryptocurrency without the delays and fees associated with traditional money transfers.

While this is a general objective for all stablecoins, GBPT goes beyond this. But before we dive into details, first a little backstory.

In 2014, the first stablecoin, BitUSD, was released as a token on the BitShares blockchain. The pioneering project team saw a need to increase the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. They created a digital asset, known as BTS, with its value pinned to the BitShares blockchain token. 

The supposedly volatility-proof BitUSD lost its peg to the dollar sometime in 2018 and never fully recovered (though it still lingers around). Since then, many stablecoins have launched into the crypto scene with fanfare, and fizzled out quietly shortly after. Terra UST (which managed to wipe out over $200 billion of investors' wealth) is the latest and largest in a long list of failed stablecoin projects. The lack of regulation, and the inability to ensure that the coins were fully backed by reserves, led to their ultimate demise.

The primary fallout of the massive UST crash was a strident call for increased regulation of the stablecoin crypto industry, especially to confirm reserves. Here’s where GBPT comes in. 

In light of the numerous failed stablecoin projects and calls for increased regulation, the project developers focused on compliance with strict Isle of Man and British financial rules while maintaining the main spirit of the stablecoin concept — increased usage through reduced volatility. 

To further reassure investors, KPMG audits the project and releases monthly proof of reserves as evidence that the 100 percent pound sterling–backing is still in place.

Established on the Ethereum blockchain, GBPT will offer real-time global settlements without regard to borders or working hours. Blockchain technology promotes the poundtoken’s functionality as a speedy, transparent, safe and borderless value transfer asset.

Features of GBPT

While stablecoins have been around for a while and are a relatively common digital asset, GBPT comes with a suite of features that offers unique customer benefits, making the project stand out.

KPMG Audited

In view of the recent crash of the Terra UST stablecoin, Blackfridge has committed to maintaining user confidence and peace of mind by registering with the Isle of Man's Financial Services Authority and ensuring monthly audits via the auditing firm, KPMG. KPMG's role is to confirm that GBPT is 100 percent backed by the GBP by issuing monthly proof-of-reserve statements. Such transparency is lacking in most other projects, which can leave investors guessing whether reserves really exist.

100 Percent Sterling Pound–Backed

Unlike most stablecoins pegged to crypto or U.S. dollars, the GBPT is tied to the mighty pound sterling, which is a major world currency. GBP is one of the most traded currencies in the world. Every issued poundtoken is covered 100 percent by fiat GBP in bank reserves.

Strict Financial Regulation

The GBPT and its parent company, Blackfridge, are under the regulation of the Isle of Man's Financial Services Authority. While the Isle of Man is a sovereign territory, its financial regulators are supported and licensed by the British financial regulatory regime. 

Secure

Poundtoken is built on the Ethereum blockchain and uses ERC20 smart contracts, ensuring that transactions are encrypted, immutable and secure.

GBPT vs. Other Popular Stablecoins

Pitting this new stablecoin against the older and more established stablecoins will bring out many surprising facts. Let's take a look.

GBPT vs. USDT

In the stablecoin corner of the wider crypto industry, USDT, commonly known as Tether, is the biggest project. Pegged to the U.S. dollar, USDT has struggled against allegations that it has less fiat backing than it claims. It also lost its peg to the dollar, trading at less than a dollar for a period of time.

These incidents question the level of regulation over the most popular stablecoin. While Tether claims to be fully regulated, citing registration with FinCEN as proof, most industry experts disagree. FinCEN is not actively involved in ensuring that a company providing financial services adheres to a set of rules. GBPT, on the other hand, has to operate based on the rules set by regulatory authorities. 

Still, USDT has some similarities with GBPT in that they are both centralized. Each project is owned and managed by an entity rather than a community. 

Interestingly, the launch of the poundtoken trailed the announcement by Tether that it plans to launch a new stablecoin tied to the GBP. 

GBPT vs. USDC

USDC, or the USD coin, is the most widely used stablecoin, second to the USDT. Created in 2018 by the Centre Consortium (comprising Coinbase and Circle), the stablecoin has a current market cap of $55 billion. USDC is pegged to the U.S. dollar and must comply with audit and U.S. money transmission requirements. This has earned it a reputation as a more reliable and safe stablecoin, although not as widely used as USDT.

GBPT vs. TUSD

TrueUSD, or TUSD, is a fully collateralized stablecoin built on the TrustToken Platform and is backed by U.S. dollars. On the regulatory side, GBPT is in many ways similar to TUSD as they’re both subjected to periodic audits and compliant with state regulators. While GBPT is audited by KPMG, TUSD employs the  audit services of the firm Armanino LLP.

When it comes to decentralization, TUSD is similar to GPBT in not being decentralized and is firmly under the control of TrueCoin LLC, the company behind the TrustToken Platform. Additionally, TUSD is also fully backed by its equivalent U.S. dollar, with every TUSD token having its equivalent dollar value stored in the bank to back it.

GBPT Tokenomics

According to CoinCarp, the poundtoken price as of today — July 22, 2022 — is $1.20 with a daily trading volume of $62,276.

Is GBPT a Good Investment?

GBPT is a stablecoin and, as such, isn’t designed to have investment value since it’s supposed to maintain a constant price. 

The main use cases for a stablecoin such as GBPT are as a store of value and a reliable medium for seamless exchange of value. The GBPT coin facilitates easy and fast borderless fund transfers. Other major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have prices that vary widely from day to day, making them difficult to use as a stable medium of exchange. 

Another reason to invest in GBPT is to store your money in crypto without the risk of volatility. 

Where and How to Buy GBPT 

Using fiat or other cryptocurrencies, you can buy, sell and hold poundtoken through cryptocurrency exchanges. GBPT is available on only Gate.io, Bittrex and Uniswap. The project team is working to list it on several more exchanges in the near future. 

You can also buy poundtoken directly from their official website in three simple steps:

1. Connect your business bank account and complete the KYC.

2. Deposit GBP and receive an equivalent amount of on-chain GBPT.

3. Deposit GBPT into your wallet.

Final Words

Poundtoken, or GBPT, is designed for stability, and to build confidence in the stablecoin market using strict regulatory policies and regular comprehensive audits. It aims to be a benchmark for stablecoins used seamlessly in the global payment system.

As a result, it serves as a stable store of value and medium of exchange while maintaining transparency, security and speedy transaction processing.