Tron Unveils Gas-Free Stablecoin for Ethereum and Tron Networks

Justin Sun announced that his team is developing a gasless stablecoin for free peer-to-peer transfers.

Tron founder Justin Sun announced a gasless stablecoin solution for free peer-to-peer transfers that set to launch on the Tron blockchain by Q4. This could position Tron as a serious competitor to PayPal and Circle. 

Meanwhile, Banque de France and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority have signed an MoU to collaborate on wholesale CBDC and tokenization projects. In the United States, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a bill banning the implementation of a Federal Reserve-issued CBDC. Yang Chin-long, President of Taiwan's Central Bank, is also taking a very steady approach to developing a digital New Taiwan dollar, and is focusing on improving domestic payment efficiency and innovation without rushing to be the first to launch a CBDC.

Tron Introduces Gasless Stablecoin

Justin Sun, founder of Tron, announced that his team is developing a gasless stablecoin solution to enable free peer-to-peer transfers. This new solution is set to launch on the Tron blockchain in the fourth quarter. There are also plans to extend to Ethereum and other Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible chains shortly after the launch. 

According to Sun's July 6 X post, the stablecoin solution will allow transfers without the need for gas tokens, as the fees will be covered by the stablecoins themselves. However, Sun did not provide any details on the mechanism behind this process. He also believes that gas-free stablecoins could greatly benefit companies that offer stablecoin services as it could drive mass adoption to new heights. 

Currently, Tron leads the peer-to-peer stablecoin transfer market, processing two to three times the volume of Ethereum, according to blockchain analytics firm Artemis. Tron also hosts more than $50 billion of Tether’s USDT out of the $112 billion issued across multiple blockchains, according to DefiLlama data

This new gasless stablecoin solution could position Tron as a competitor to PayPal’s PYUSD, which allows free cross-border payments for certain U.S.-based users, and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) on Ethereum layer-2 Base via Coinbase Wallet, which also offers free transfers.

Recently, Circle and crypto exchange Binance withdrew support for USDC on Tron, which very likely incentivized Tron to develop its own solution. Additionally, Tron is contemplating the creation of a Bitcoin layer-2 solution to support a “wrapped” version of Tether, which could bring billions of dollars into the Bitcoin ecosystem. In the meantime, Tron is using existing cross-chain protocols to bridge USDT and other tokens between Bitcoin and Tron.

France and Hong Kong Collaborate on CBDC Projects

Although stablecoins have been getting a lot of attention from the crypto space recently, there are many new developments in the CBDC realm as well. Banque de France (BDF) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) and tokenization.

This agreement adds to the numerous projects the two entities already participate in together. The HKMA and BDF will explore interoperability between their CBDC infrastructures and improve cross-border transaction settlement efficiency. 

BDF has an infrastructure called DL3S in place for introducing a CBDC, while HKMA will use the Project Ensemble sandbox for their research.

Project Ensemble was launched by HKMA in March, and it aims to study asset tokenization and create a supporting CBDC. The initiative includes an Architecture Community of Hong Kong regulators, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), large local banks, HashKey crypto exchange, Ant Digital Technologies, and Microsoft Hong Kong. Research and testing is set to begin midyear. 

The HKMA and BDF are also collaborating on other projects, with the HKMA recently joining the European Central Bank’s second wave of distributed ledger technology testing participants, focusing on interoperability among blockchain modules for settling tokenized government bonds. Additionally, BDF is an observer in Project mBridge, which is the largest CBDC-related project to date, in which HKMA is an original participant.

Hong Kong’s CBDC, the e-HKD, has been under development since 2021 and is currently in the second phase of its pilot. The HKMA has been actively researching CBDC applications, including a retail e-HKD with a complex structure tested in Project Aurum with BIS. The HKMA has engaged in projects with BIS and the United Nations to develop tokenized “green” bonds as well, and also collaborated with Ripple and Visa to explore real estate tokenization.

North Carolina Governor Vetoes CBDC Ban Bill

Meanwhile, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed House Bill 690. The Bill aimed to ban the state from implementing a US Federal Reserve-issued central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

Despite receiving near-unanimous support in both the state’s House of Representatives and Senate, Cooper called the bill "premature, vague, and reactionary" in a statement on June 5. He argued that North Carolina should wait for federal standards and safeguards for digital assets before taking any action.

The veto came after a 109–4 vote in the House and a 39–5 vote in the Senate in late June. Considering the overwhelming support, legislators could potentially override the veto with a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

Naturally, Cooper’s decision was met with a lot of criticism. Mitchell Askew, head analyst at Blockware Solutions and a North Carolina native, shared his disappointment with the decision, and accused Cooper of making a politically motivated decision. Askew suggested that Cooper’s veto was influenced by his political opponent, Mark Robinson, who supports the bill.

Dan Spuller, head of industry affairs at the Blockchain Association, also criticized the veto, and called it a missed opportunity to oppose a CBDC and uphold values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness.

Despite the fact that CBDCS are a popular topic in many states like North Carolina, Reserve Chair Jerome Powell previously stated at a Senate Banking Committee hearing in March that the US was not even close to recommending or adopting any form of CBDC.

Taiwan Takes Cautious Approach to CBDC Launch

Yang Chin-long, President of the Central Bank of the Republic of China, recently pointed out that developing a CBDC is not a race, and the bank is prioritizing steady progress over speed. According to a July 7 report by UDN, Yang stated that being the first to introduce a CBDC does not guarantee success, as early adopters have not achieved their desired outcomes just yet.

In a report released on June 7, before his presentation to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Yuan on June 10, Yang shared some details about the central bank’s plans for a digital New Taiwan dollar. The central bank is conducting experiments in three scenarios to enhance domestic payment efficiency and innovation. While there is no timetable for issuing a CBDC, efforts are being made to improve the payment system’s processing efficiency.

One big development is the CBDC prototype platform that is designed for retail payments, and is capable of supporting digital coupons with transaction processing speeds of 20,000 transactions per second. Additionally, a proof-of-concept for a wholesale CBDC is being developed, combining CBDC with bank deposit tokens to create a future digital currency system. This system aims to function as a liquidation asset for asset tokenization.

The central bank plans to use tokenization technology to digitally transform wholesale central bank currency and commercial bank currency, supporting various asset tokens. Proofs-of-concept are being conducted in collaboration with participating banks to build a common platform for tokenization. This platform will be tested in three scenarios: inter-bank transfer of bank deposit tokens, simultaneous delivery of asset tokens, and special-purpose digital money.

In March, the Financial Supervisory Commission announced that it plans to propose new digital asset regulations for Taiwan in September of 2024 to create effective regulations for digital asset markets and ensure investor safety.