The UBS-led effort to create a digital cash model for payments and settlement on blockchain has got six new banks onboard, according to the Financial Times.

As Banking Technology reported in August last year, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santander joined UBS and Clearmatics to advance their utility settlement coin (USC) concept, and plan tests in a real-market environment. It’s also another rival for Bitcoin.

In the latest development, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and State Street have joined the group.

The group is talking with central banks and regulators and is aiming for a “limited go live” in the latter part of 2018, Hyder Jaffrey, UBS’s head of strategic investment and fintech innovation, told the Financial Times.

The Swiss bank first launched its concept in September 2015 and it’s been gaining interest ever since.

Once ready, the USC would be “convertible at parity with a bank deposit in the corresponding currency, making it fully backed by cash assets at a central bank” and “spending a USC would be the same as spending the real currency it is paired with”.

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