Kiffmeister’s Fintech Daily Digest (04/30/2020)

Telegram Caves to US Regulators: Delays Blockchain Launch, Offers to Return $1.2B to Investors
With Telegram missing its deadline to launch TON by April 30, a refund clause in Telegram’s purchase agreements means that investors can now claim refunds. However, while proposing an immediate refund of 72% of investors’ stakes, the platform is also offering repayment of 110% on April 30, 2021.

CBDCs – from interest to action
An R3 white paper explores proposed CBDC models and applications from across the globe, and examines technologies for different implementations based on recent engagements with central banks and payment infrastructure providers. It discusses use cases that CBDCs are solving, the benefits they may unlock, minimum viable ecosystems, the difference between the hybrid, synthetic and direct models, and the technologies, including blockchain, that are being considered.

Mobile money recommendations to central banks in response to COVID-19
A Groupe Spécial Mobile Association (GSMA) note examined the impacts of COVID-19 on mobile money business and provided broad recommendations that could be taken to ensure business continuity and sustainability. It also has a tabulation of the measures taken by governments and mobile money providers to limit the spread of the virus by encouraging digital payments and ease the cost of living burden on citizens who use digital payments.

How payments can adjust to the coronavirus pandemic—and help the world adapt
OVID-19 will have a long-lasting impact on all industries, and the payments sector will be no exception, according to a McKinsey report. It highlights ten fundamental changes to be prepared to emerge from the current crisis efficiently and define the post-COVID-19 future.

Why Bitcoin Exchanges Are Building Their Own Blockchain
The emerging trend of exchange-built blockchain platforms is a move to build a moat around their respective businesses and grow their market share and operate more efficiently. Developing a blockchain allows an exchange to have more flexibility from a usability and trading offering perspective without the need of a centralized operator. Plus they stand to benefit from a rise in their native token value if their bets pay off.

Caitlin Long: Collapsing dollar will lead to crypto adoption
Caitlin Long believes the COVID-19 crisis could cause a collapse in the dollar, forcing people to rethink the real value underlying their assets. According to her, the dollar is going to encounter a “short squeeze of staggering proportions.”

Embedded supervision: how to build regulation into Libra 2.0 and the token economy
Taking the example of the revised proposal for the Libra global stablecoin, this column describes how supervisors could harness information in distributed ledger based-finance via “embedded supervision.” The aim is to increase the quality of data available to supervisors and reduce administrative costs for firms. The policy note concludes by discussing legislative and operational ways to promote low-cost supervision and a level playing field for small and large firms.

Safaricom and Visa join forces
Kenya’s Safaricom and Visa are partnering to develop products that will support digital payments for M-PESA customers.

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