Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (08/14/2020)

Brainard Says Fed Is Conducting E-Money Tests for Research

The Federal Reserve is conducting in-house experiments with a hypothetical digital dollar for research purposes, though it hasn’t yet committed to issuance that would require a formal policy process involving the government and other stakeholders. A multidisciplinary team, with application developers from the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland, Dallas, and New York, is working with a policy team at the Fed to study the implications of digital currencies on the payments ecosystem, monetary policy, financial stability, banking and finance, and consumer protection. 

Boston Fed announces collaboration with MIT to research digital currency

To enhance the Federal’s understanding of digital currencies, the Boston Fed is collaborating with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a multiyear effort to build and test a hypothetical central bank digital currency (CBDC). The first phase of the Boston Fed’s research will involve jointly building and testing a hypothetical CBDC for wide-scale, general purpose use. The objective in this phase will be to determine how to architect a scalable, accessible cryptographic platform to meet the needs of a theoretical U.S. dollar CBDC, including stringent design requirements for speed, security, privacy and resiliency. 

China expands digital yuan trial to several more cities

China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot will reportedly expand to include Beijing, as well as Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong province, Tianjin, Hebei, and the Yangtse River Delta. Also the Ministry of Commerce reportedly said that the project design is hoped to be wrapped up by the end of 2020.  

Comparing Means of Payment: What Role for a Central Bank Digital Currency?

This Federal Reserve paper looks at the potential benefit that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could provide in the context of existing payment mechanisms. A comparison of a general-purpose CBDC with existing means of payments across seven categories reveals how an appropriately designed CBDC could provide value in certain areas. These technological benefits could include a digital form of a bearer instrument, more cost-effective payment services, greater anonymity than current digital transactions, and a catalyst for greater innovation through programmable money. 

BitMEX to Mandate ID Verification for All Traders as Maverick Exchange Ends Wild Ways

BitMEX will impose mandatory identity verification for all users. Registering to trade on BitMEX currently takes “less than 30 seconds,” according to its homepage, where new users outside of restricted jurisdictions are required to enter only an email address, password and pick a country of residence. That will end on August 28 when verification will be mandatory for all users, a process that will include proofs of location, funds, and trading experience. The policy change comes with a six-month “grace period” ending in February 2021 to accommodate unverified users completing the process. 

Apollo Fintech Announces Completion of the First Blockchain National Currency Platform

Apollo Fintech launched its blockchain-based central bank digital currency (CBDC) National Payment Platform (NPP). It faciliatates the build out of a multi-tier digital currency ecosystem, from commercial banks and other agents, to merchants and users, enabling to peer to peer transactions using its app, SMS, QR codes, cards, offline codes. Authorized banks can onboard users and merchants for mainstream transactions including currency deposits and withdrawals, currency exchange, money transfers and payments for goods and services.  

Real Estate Tokenization- A Complete Guide

In recent years, blockchain-based tokenization has succeeded in making real estate much efficient, accessible, and affordable to the investors. And many experts believe that tokenization is the key to transform the industry into the next level. If you’re a property owner, or an investor looking for an opportunity to invest in real estate, this article jots down the 3 W’s of tokenization of real estate, i.e what is tokenization? Why should you tokenize? and where to tokenize your real estate? 

Writing Bitcoin Smart Contracts Is About to Get Easier With New Coding Language

Bitcoin smart contracts are a tricky beast to tame, but a new language is making them easier to write, democratizing them in a sense. Minsc, created by Bitcoin developer Nadav Ivgi, is a new programming language that makes it easier for developers to create these kinds of contracts so they can build them into bitcoin wallets and other apps more smoothly. 

UK fintech funding rallied in the first half of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, U.K. fintech funding saw a slight uptick in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Fintech investments were up 3.8% in the first half of 2020 to just over £2bn, up from £1.9bn in the first half of 2019. The slight increase can largely be attributed to a surge in investment across insurtech and payments startups. Investment in insurtech saw the largest increase, increasing by 66% from £97m in 2019 to £161m in 2020 and payments-focused fintechs followed, seeing a 5.3% increase on 2019 to £760m. 

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