Kiffmeister’s Fintech Daily Digest (04/28/2020)

China starts major trial of state-run digital currency
Trials of China’s CBDC have reportedly started in several cities, with some public servants in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an now receiving their salaries in CBDC already.

The People’s Bank of China Extends Fintech Regulatory Pilot Project to Seven Cities
The People’s Bank of China will expand its fintech regulation pilot program, first launched in Beijing in December, to six more cities to further explore inclusive, prudent and flexible trial-and-error innovation. The pilot will guide financial institutions and fintech firms in exploring the use of information technologies to supporting small firms with funding difficulties and facilitating inclusive financing.

Protecting the continuity and safety of payments during the coronavirus crisis
“A high-level ECB task force is currently examining the pros and cons of introducing a digital euro, which could be used by intermediaries or even by citizens through their electronic devices for their day-to-day spending needs. However, our analysis of the opportunities and challenges of CBDC should not discourage or crowd out market-led initiatives aimed at introducing private electronic means of payment with similar features in terms of user needs.”

Blockchain to tackle supply chain failures exposed by COVID-19 and boost economic recovery
The World Economic Forum published a Blockchain Deployment Toolkit for building more resilient supply chains. The 244-page report includes checklists, guided questions, explainers and risk assessments addressing tax concerns and data privacy; forming a consortium, its ecosystem and governance; public vs private chains; cybersecurity; interoperability; and digital identity, among other concerns.

IBM Aims To Streamline COVID-19 Supply Procurement Via Blockchain
To help government units and healthcare organizations discover non-traditional suppliers who have changed course to address the shortage of supplies needed for COVID-19 relief efforts, IBM unveiled a blockchain-based network called IBM Rapid Supplier Connect.

Cross-Border Payment Portal Is Joins Libra Association will join the Libra Association in developing its series of stablecoins. Libra was announced last year as an effort to create a single global currency that could expand financial services to anyone who had a smartphone and an internet connection, though some of these ambitions have since been scaled back.

Libra’s Disparte on big tech’s move into digital currency
Libra Association vice-chair Dante Disparte speaks about the decision to abandon a multi-currency reserve, stress-testing a global payment network and how the Facebook-led body still has 3 billion customers in its sights.

Digital Disruption in Banking and its Impact on Competition
According to the OECD, competition will increase as new players enter the industry, but the long-term impact is more open, and regulation shall decisively influence to what extent BigTech shall enter the industry and who shall be the dominant players. Pursuant to OECD’s view, the challenge for regulators will be to keep a level playing field that strikes the right balance between fostering innovation and preserving financial stability where the consumer protection concerns rise to the forefront.

Congress Has Now Introduced 32 Crypto And Blockchain Bills
Members in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senators have introduced a total of 32 crypto- and blockchain-related bills in the 116th Congress. Thanks to Facebook’s introduction of Project Libra, ongoing efforts to achieve regulatory clarity for the industry, and the novel concept of a U.S. digital dollar, the level of interest on Capitol Hill appears to have grown beyond what has typically been just a handful of legislators.

Bitcoin’s ‘Most Volatile Day’ Prompts Exchanges to Make Changes
For now, the largest crypto exchanges are not changing their leverage policies, but they are making other tweaks. Huobi instituted a flavor of a circuit breaker: Instead of halting trading, the software will halt liquidation orders on positions where the margin ratio is less than or equal to zero when abnormal price deviation between the market price and liquidation price is identified. The exchange has also begun doing partial liquidations.

The Arab Monetary Fund Launches Guidelines on Digital Identity and e-KYC for the Arab Region
The Arab Monetary Fund published the Arab Regional Fintech Working Group’s Digital Identity and Electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) Guidelines for the Arab Region.

Argentinians are Increasingly Using Online and Mobile-based Apps for Everyday Transactions
In Argentina, where most people prefer to make cash payments, a strict nationwide lockdown (due to COVID-19) has forced local consumers into considering digital banking and online payments options.

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