In an increasingly digitalized world, banks require new and intelligent solutions. Intelligent automation is the key to achieving greater efficiency. In this context, the 168-year-old printing house Giesecke & Devrient made its first investment in Blockchain technology, leading a USD 17 million A-series in Metaco, as noted in a recent report published by Forbes.
Metaco, is a leading Swiss security-critical infrastructure startup that enables financial institutions to enter the digital asset ecosystem. The company is trusted by major banks, stock exchanges and infrastructure providers worldwide.
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Founded in 2015, Metaco brings together a diverse team of industry specialists in software, security, cryptography and banking to transform the financial services industry. The company is deeply integrated into the banking sector through a growing network of strategic partners and institutional shareholders.
However, Giesecke & Devrient, with more than 160 years of experience, is actively contributing to shaping one of the most important trends of the future: Security.
The long-established technology group creates confidence in global payment transactions, modern communication, digital identities and data security by providing innovative products and solutions.
Every day, billions of people benefit from Giesecke & Devrient’s innovations in their personal, digital and business lives. With around 11,600 employees in 32 countries, the corporate group develops, manufactures and distributes products and solutions for the protection of payment processes, identities, connectivity and data.
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Its scope can be summarized, on the one hand, to the manufacture of security features for banknotes, paper money, security printing, smart cards, cash handling systems, and on the other hand, to the digital innovation in payment solutions. It also has an important Consulting department for the Printing Security sector and for Central Banks and their activity around cash.
The first “digital” step
In July 2017, when the price of Bitcoin reached USD 20,000 and there was an explosion in the Initial Offer of Coins (ICO), G&D announced its interest in the digital currency sector by publishing a “white book” with the title “Digital Money”. The company’s 35-page report encouraged central banks, the customers, to “embrace” electronic alternatives and expand their traditional banknote issuing business: “A digital currency would be attractive to central banks as it would allow them to support customers. “in their digital journey,” the company said in a report.
G&D had predicted that the rapid rise of alternative digital currencies and the talk (even then) of Facebook launching its own digital currency, the pound, would shake many central banks. This is because central banks wanted to maintain control over the money supply, but did not have the expertise or resources to enter the “digital arena.
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So last year, G&D presented its first software product that aimed to unite these two worlds: G&D Filia. In the fall newsletter of the Official Forum of Monetary and Financial Institutions (OMFIF), G&D’s global head of coin technology, Christian Jüttner, described G&D Filia as a “cash in the till” product. An agnostic platform, it could be used by central banks and distributed through commercial banks or other financial institutions, for use in smart phones, smart clocks and other “digital wallets”.
Although G&D is not clear on the details of its new software, as in the case of bitcoin, its “coins” are most likely derived from an algorithm and controlled solely by the central bank, which will maintain the data file. This new type of currency will not require the use of an account and will be “open source” so that payment service providers can integrate their offers directly into the account.