Kiffmeister’s Fintech Daily Digest (04/25/2020)

Libra still needs more baking
Barry Eichengreen argues that while the new Libra white paper improves on the first one, it has done nothing to address worries about currency substitution.  Also a new proposed capital buffer is underspecified, a key market in Libra futures or forwards is missing, as is a Libra lender of last resort.

PayPal Check-Cashing Fees Waived for Government-Issued Stimulus Checks
Americans who received paper stimulus checks can quickly deposit them into their bank accounts using PayPal’s cash-a-check feature for free until May 31. PayPal usually charges a 1% fee to cash payroll and government checks.

Central bank digital currency: Central banking for all
This column explores CBDC implications using a classic banking model. With sufficient competition, a CBDC can be beneficial and achieve the optimal allocation of funds. However, it also risks giving central banks excessive monopoly power, which could result in inferior outcomes.

Telegram hits 400 million users while SEC prevents TON launch
Telegram has hit 400 million unique monthly users, but due to an ongoing court case with the SEC, users won’t have direct access to the Telegram Open Network. If the TON doesn’t launch by April 30 its investors are entitled to refunds totalling $1.7 billion.

The New York Inclusive Value Ledger: A P2P Savings & Payments Platform
The paper’s “inclusive value ledger” is a payments system, including digital wallets and a smartphone app, intended to reduce the role of banks as middlemen and address the unbanked and underbanked as well as marginalized communities. Banks, including their ATMs, and payment firms like Paypal and Venmo would be required to interoperate with the IVL currency. The paper suggested that the IVL system could be used for New York State residents to receive state tax credits, pensions and government benefits, and pay for taxes and licenses via a pooled “Master Account”.

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