Facebook is forming Facebook Financial (called F2 internally) to oversee the all of the payment services Facebook has announced in the past year, including Novi and WhatsApp payments. Novi oversees the digital wallet for Facebook’s proposed Libra digital currency. Novi head David Marcus will be in charge of the initiative, and former PayPal executive Stephane Kasriel is being brought in to head Facebook Pay and serve as payments vice president of Facebook Financial. Facebook Pay, launched in November 2019, can be used for P2P payments on Messenger and purchases from select Pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace. Facebook has plans to add it to Instagram and WhatsApp in the future.
The Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) updated on progress made on the G20 TechSprint initiative launched in April 2020, following an August 6-7 event among 20 shortlisted teams (selected from a pool of 128 submissions from 35 countries). The teams were given an opportunity to demonstrate their solutions to a panel of independent judges and receive feedback before the final judging, scheduled for October 2020. The judging panel includes private and public sector experts in the field of financial sector data and technology.
An NBER paper enumerates the fundamental technical design challenges facing CBDC designers, with a particular focus on performance, privacy, and security. Through a survey of relevant academic and industry research and deployed systems, it discusses the state of the art in technologies that can address the challenges involved in successful CBDC deployment. It also present a vision of the rich range of functionalities and use cases that a well-designed CBDC platform could ultimately offer users. [FYI this version looks to be identical to the Brookings paper published a few days ago.]