Austria will raise a total 1.15 billion euros in a federal bond auction on Oct. 2 using blockchain notarization, according to Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB), which oversees the auctions for issuing federal bonds as a neutral capital market participant for the Austrian Federal Financing Agency (OeBFA). The auction demonstrates Austria’s pioneering role in Europe for deploying blockchain technology for sovereign bond issues, according to the notice posted on the Finance Ministry website.
Two outstanding German government bonds, 0.75% Federal Bond 2018 – 2018 and 0.00% Federal Bond 20166 – 2023, will be auctioned, comprising 1.15 billion euros.
The OeKB IT department implemented the project using the Ethereum blockchain, according to Kleine Zeitung.
“The digitization of the financial sector, also known as fintech, has long arrived in Austria,” Finance Minister Hartwig Loger said in a prepared statement. “We need to use the positive effects intelligently for the financial services sector. Blockchain technology is an economic policy focus for us. With the establishment of the FinTech Advisory Council in the Ministry of Finance, we are developing strategies to help Austria make the best possible use of these developments.”
“Blockchain technology offers great potential for increasing efficiency and ensuring the quality of bank processes,” Angelika Sommer-Hemetsberger, a member of the OeKB management board, said in a prepared statement. “Therefore, we have been dealing with this topic intensively for some time now and have already tested several prototypes. Starting the real operation on behalf of OeBFA is a pleasing and logical next step.”
The blockchain notarization service will verify the data’s authenticity. “This added security contributes to a high level of confidence in the auction process of Austrian government bonds and strengthens Austria’s good standing in the market, which can also indirectly contribute to favorable financing costs,” said Markus Stix, head of OeBFA.
Blockchain and similar solutions will be used as the main technology in many aspects of public administration, noted OeKB, which evaluated different blockchain technologies for the project.
Vienna image from Shutterstock.