Austrian Government to Notarize $1.3 Billion Bond Auction Using Ethereum

The Austrian government is planning to use the ethereum blockchain to notarize the auction of a bond worth around $1.3 billion.

AccessTimeIconSep 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:25 a.m. UTC
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

The Austrian government is to use the ethereum blockchain to notarize the auction of a government bond worth €1.15 billion, or around $1.3 billion.

The Federal Government's Finance Agency (OeBFA) has assigned banking giant Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) to carry out the auction on its behalf on Oct. 2, according to a finance ministry announcement Tuesday.

The bank's responsibilities will include deploying the notarization service to authenticate auction transaction data and subsequently store it on the blockchain, the agency explained.

A news report from Kleine Zeitung on Tuesday indicated that OeKB has confirmed that it will use internal IT resources to oversee the deployment, which will utilize the ethereum blockchain to store the data as hash values on the public network.

Angelika Sommer-Hemetsberger, member of the management board of OeKB, commented in the announcement:

"Blockchain technology offers great potential for increasing efficiency and ensuring the quality of bank processes. 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."

This is the Austrian government's first move to adopt blockchain for domestic financial transactions, the OeBFA said, adding that it views the emerging technology as an "economic policy focus."

"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 the OeBFA.

The effort marks yet another case in which blockchain is being adopted in a bond-issuance process.

Just last month, the World Bank Group announced it raised $81 million during its landmark bond issuance using a private blockchain network created by the Commonwealth bank of Australia.

And, last July, the manufacturing company behind automaker Mercedes-Benz – Daimler AG – issued a €100 million blockchain bond on a private version of the ethereum blockchain.

Vienna, Austria, image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.