Shinhan Bank of South Korea and Standard Bank of South Africa demonstrated the first real-time international stablecoin transaction between two banks Thursday on Hedera Hashgraph’s livestream.

Fast facts

  • In the 20-minute live webinar, Andrew Kim, blockchain project manager at Shinhan Bank, and Alex Lopes, blockchain innovation developer at Standard Bank, showcased a demo of a stablecoin international remittance between the two banks, using the proof-of-concept (PoC) stablecoin app Shinhan developed to transfer money to one another.  
  • The way it works is senders at Shinhan Bank would convert their fiat money into stablecoin after which a remittance message will be exchanged between the two banks through the Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) network. The receivers convert their stablecoin into their respective fiat money. 
  • The banks’ webinar listed several advantages of the stablecoin transfer compared to a wire transfer, the most common way to remit across borders. One, the PoC provides a direct transfer between two banks, whereas the wire transfer involves other intermediaries. Two, the direct transfer decreases the remittance fee from more than US$40 to less than 10 cents. Three, while international wire transfers take two to six business days, Shinhan and Standard’s demo took around 25 seconds. Other benefits include unlimited operating hours — 24 hours, seven days a week — and real-time tracking of the transaction.
  • Hedera Hashgraph, located in Texas, is an enterprise-grade public blockchain network on which applications run in a decentralized economy. The project used the Hedera Token Service for minting the stablecoins, and the Hedera Consensus Service trust layer to track and record transactions and confirm foreign exchange rates at the time each transaction takes place. 
  • Shinhan Bank, one of South Korea’s leading financial institutions, won a 2021 Enterprise Blockchain Awards for blockchain disruption. Earlier this year, Shinhan invested in Korea Digital Asset Custody (KDAC), an industry consortium providing digital asset custody services. In March, Shinhan partnered with LG CNS to complete a pilot program for central bank digital currencies. It is also currently operating under an agreement with South Korean crypto exchange Korbit to provide bank deposit accounts for exchange users under their real names.