Hong Kong-based First Digital Group announced on July 26 that its stablecoin, First Digital USD (FDUSD), has been listed on Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.
As one of Asia’s leading qualified custodians, First Digital Trust is part of the First Digital Group, which includes FD121, the entity under which FDUSD has been issued.
The FDUSD is backed 1:1 with “high-quality cash and cash equivalent reserves,” according to a press release, and it is redeemable 1:1 for an equal value in U.S. dollars. These reserves are held in regulated financial institutions’ segregated accounts and monitored and audited by independent third parties.
FDUSD aims to offer a “transparent, reliable, and trusted alternative” to conventional assets amid increasing volatility in the market.
Monthly attestations & stablecoin competition
On the news of the listing, a spokesperson for Binance told CryptoSlate, “Binance believes users benefit from more choices for products that fill an important financial need, and stablecoins have important use cases in the broader financial ecosystem.”
The spokesperson also confirmed that FDUSD will receive monthly audits from an independent accounting firm.
“[First Digital Trust] will be providing monthly attestation reports from an independent audit firm. Reserves of FDUSD are held by First Digital Trust Limited, a qualified custodian and registered trust company headquartered in Hong Kong.”
Further, Binance expects to see “increased competition in stablecoin offerings, including non-USD denominated projects” to meet market demands.
The FDUSD whitepaper emphasizes a commitment to fostering strong collaboration with regulatory authorities. It states that compliance with applicable regulations is a top priority and aims to actively engage with regulators to ensure understanding and adherence to evolving legislation. Compliance is noted as a guiding principle in navigating the regulatory environment.
First Digital, the parent company of the issuer FD121, is described as Asia’s leading multi-faceted trust partner bridging traditional and digital finance. It has over 3 decades of experience and provides services including structuring, custody, payroll, escrow, and administration.
The whitepaper further claims First Digital helps “future-proof” partners through innovative trustee services and expertise. It was also named an “Emerging Giant in Asia” by KPMG and HSBC in 2022.
FD121 Limited is a subsidiary of First Digital, specifically established to issue stablecoins allowing FDUSD to “leverage the resources, experience, and reputation” of the broader First Digital group.
Ultimately, FDUSD is designed as a programmable digital asset, offering efficiency enhancements by interacting directly with “financial smart contracts, escrow services, and insurance without intermediaries.” FD121 asserts that this feature reduces the cost of financial transactions and bolsters security.
Vincent Chok, CEO of First Digital Trust, commented,
“Recent events have shown that conventional assets are not immune to the risk and volatility posed by external events. FDUSD offers a transparent, reliable, and trusted alternative that provides the predictability corporates and investors are demanding.”
APAC crypto evolution
The listing of FDUSD on Binance follows a trend of growing acceptance of stablecoin in Asia, with Hong Kong, in particular, standing out due to its progressive approach to regulations.
This view is further supported by Circle, a leading USDC stablecoin provider, which recently underscored the potential role of the digital dollar, specifically USDC, in the APAC region, targeting the 74% of APAC trade invoicing processed in U.S. dollars.
In light of these developments, the listing of FDUSD represents an essential milestone in Hong Kong’s journey to position itself as a hub for crypto innovation and a test bed for crypto regulation. It also highlights the growing acceptance and importance of stablecoins in the digital economy.
FDUSD Listing information
The FDUSD listing went live at 16:00 HKT on July 26, 2023. According to the announcement, Binance will introduce a zero-maker fee limited-time promotion for FDUSD trading pairs on FDUSD/BNB, FDUSD/USDT, and FDUSD/BUSD spot trading pairs.
FDUSD is available on the Ethereum and BNB Chain, with planned support for an increasing number of blockchains.
As Hong Kong continues to position itself as a leading fintech and crypto innovation hub, the listing of FDUSD on Binance offers a glimpse of the potential of such offerings in shaping the global digital financial landscape.