Ethereum Blockchain Finds Another Use Case in Government Bonds

Though you wouldn’t know it by looking at today’s prices, Ethereum continues to attract major parties to its public blockchain. According to a new report, Austria is set to become the first country to issue government bonds on the Ethereum network.

Public Auction Powered by Ethereum

Beginning next week, Austria will issue €1.15 billion of government bonds in a public auction hosted on Ethereum, according to local news agency Kleine Zeitung. One of Austria’s largest banks, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB), will operate the notarization service. This means the bank will issue the bonds on behalf of Austria’s Treasury.

A translation of the report indicates that testing of the notarization process has been successful. It’s also the first time Austria’s federal bond auction process will be powered by distributed ledger technology.

While Austria has largely flown under the radar of most crypto watchers, the country is creating new pathways for adoption while maintaining strict guidelines against money laundering and terrorism financing. Austria’s Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger says the country’s regulatory framework will bring more trust and transparency to the blockchain and crypto space.

Austria’s decision to go with Ethereum shines a positive light on a blockchain that has faced scathing criticism in recent times. Ethereum’s detractors have scrutinized the platform’s technical specifications and long-term relevancy in a market that has become overcrowded with ERC-20 tokens.

ETH/USD Update

Ether’s trading range narrowed to just $11 on Thursday, with the technical charts showing limited upside. At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading hands at $220 on Bitfinex, having gained 2.9% from the previous session. The cryptocurrency faces bearish trend lines at $220 and $234. Twenty-four hour trading volumes amount to $1.9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

At current values, Ethereum has a total market capitalization of $22.5 billion. Though it retains the second spot on the crypto market rankings, a surging XRP is challenging for that position. XRP briefly surpassed Ethereum on at least two occasions going back to last Friday.

Ether’s fundamental outlook improved somewhat after LedgerX announced plans to launch ether-based options. The startup is currently awaiting regulatory approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi