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The Federal Reserve’s upcoming instant payment system FedNow released its list of certified “early adopters” on June 29. The organizations on the list have been certified ready to connect to the platform when it launches at the end of July. There are no blockchain networks on the list, despite the fact that at least two of them have previously announced their connection to the instant payment system.
FedNow said that some organizations not on the list could be integrated later, and Metal Blockchain said it still intends to connect to the platform as soon as it has a “suitable bank sponsor.”
FedNow is an instant payment service developed by the US Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve says the service will enable instant bank-to-bank transfers in the US, similar to Faster Payments in the UK and the Single Payments Area in Europe.
Currently, US bank transfers can only be made via ACH or wire transfers, which do not settle instantly. FedNow is scheduled to launch in July.
At least two blockchain networks have announced that they will “connect” to FedNow when it launches. One of them is Metal Blockchain by Metallicus. In May, the Metallicus team announced that its network would allow instant conversion of cash into stablecoins via a FedNow connection. At the time, the official FedNow website also listed Metallicus as a “service provider”, further evidence that the integration was about to happen.
This list was removed within days of the announcement. On May 15, Twitter user JeffXRP noted the oddity of its sudden removal.
The list of “service providers” released on June 29 includes ACI Worldwide, ECS Fin, FPS Gold, Open Payment Network and 11 other payment processors, but does not include Metallicus or Metal Blockchain.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Metallicus co-founder and CEO Marshall Hayner stated that the company remains committed to integrating Metal Blockchain with FedNow once it receives proper bank sponsorship, stating:
“Metallicus is currently in communication with the Federal Reserve and FedNow program administrators while we look for a suitable banking sponsor and remain focused on building our banking network technology.”
Another blockchain network that announced integration with FedNow was Tassat, creator of the TassatPay service and digital interbank network. Tassat claims that its network is a private blockchain for commercial banks. In March, the company announced that it would connect its B2B digital payment platform to the upcoming FedNow service.
Tassat was listed on the “service provider window” of the FedNow website as of June 30th.
However, Tassat is not listed as a certified service provider in the June 30 “early adopters” list. Cointelegraph contacted the Tassat team via email but received no response as of press time.
The Federal Reserve’s statement explains that some entities not on the list may become service providers in the future:
“In addition to the original users, the Federal Reserve continues to work with financial institutions and service providers, with plans to join them later in 2023 and beyond, as a first step towards building a robust network aimed at reaching all 10,000 U.S. financial institutions.”
FedNow has been criticized by some blockchain users for allegedly moving towards a central bank digital currency (CBDC). U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said it would lead to “financial slavery”. In April, the Federal Reserve issued a statement denying FedNow’s connection to the CBDC.