Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (09/03/2020)

Bank of England Governor Bailey on Stablecoins and Digital Currency

Bank of England Governor Bailey: “Stablecoins need to offer coin-holders a robust claim, with supporting mechanisms and protections to ensure they can be redeemed at any time 1-to-1 into fiat currency… Some stablecoin proposals do not include a legal claim for coin-holders. And some stablecoins propose backing in instruments that may have material market, credit and liquidity risk, but do not have the money protections I have outlined. While this might be acceptable for speculative investment purposes, it would not be for payments widely relied upon by households and businesses…  Commercial bank money is only acceptable for wide scale use… if it is denominated in [the jurisdiction’s fiat currency,] convertible into [that] fiat money at par… on demand.” 

Norges Bank central bank digital currency project phase three status report

The Norges Bank central bank digital currency (CBDC) project is now in its third phase. The working group has reviewed different elements of the relevant technologies and solutions chosen for pilot testing in other countries. Validation work is being performed in three partly overlapping work streams; pecification of characteristics, meetings with outside parties, and analysis of relevant technological solutions. It has focused on how different variants and elements of DLT, but also variants where the actual CBDC register is not necessarily based on DLT, can contribute to the adequate fulfilment of necessary and desirable characteristics. The final report from phase 3 will contain a recommendation for a framework for pilot testing if a decision is made to move forward. 

Swiss Canton Zug to Accept Taxes in Bitcoin, Ether From Next Year

By some definitions, this move makes bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) legal tender. From next February, citizens and companies based in Zug will be able to pay up to CHF100,000 of their taxes in either BTC or ETH. No partial payments in crypto-assets will be accepted. For the initiative, authorities have partnered with the Zug-based crypto broker and custodian Bitcoin Suisse, which will convert crypto-asset payments into Swiss francs and hand them over to the tax office. 

Ethereum Is Eating Bitcoin

Bitcoin can be wrapped onto the ethereum blockchain using a number of ethereum-based tokens, such as WBTC, which has surged in popularity since May, according to data from Dune Analytics. During some periods in August, more bitcoin was wrapped onto ethereum than was created by bitcoin miners. Bitcoin wrapped onto the ethereum blockchain using WBTC is backed 1:1 by bitcoin and minted by locking up bitcoin on the bitcoin blockchain. It’s thought that by wrapping bitcoin onto ethereum and making it compatible with smart contracts, users will be able to unlock tools such as lending, liquidity provision, and decentralized exchanges. 

Vitalik Buterin reveals why a 51% attack on ETH 2.0 ‘would not be fatal

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has dismissed concerns that a 51% attack on Ethereum 2.0 would be ‘fatal’.  The scenario emerged as a result of the burgeoning popularity of’s yETH vault which has already amassed more than 137,000 ETH on its first day. Arcane Assets’ Chief Intelligence Officer Eric Wall suggested this mean the yETH vault admins will probably end up controlling enough Ether to theoretically launch an attack on Ethereum 2.0, a  Proof-of-Stake network. But Buterin asserts that the malicious actor “could attack once”, but would be quickly slashed or soft-forked and lose control over the coins needed to maintain the attack. 

RealT Market Coming to the Aave Protocol

RealT Allows investors to directly buy shares of LLC managing properties and each RealT Token holder regularly earns their share of the property revenues directly into their wallet with stablecoins. On the Aave RealT market users will be allowed to deposit their tokens into the Aave Protocol and use them as collateral to borrow stablecoins. Intrinsically RealT assets collect stablecoins on a regular basis, and this can be leveraged in these loans as “income” that can contribute to the repayment of the loans organically, creating loans that at least partially repay themselves. 

Bittrex lists Turkish stablecoin BiLira

The Turkish lira-backed stablecoin BiLira is now open for trading on cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global. Users can now use their ERC-20 BiLira tokens to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and USDT on Bittrex Global. There are currently 20 million BiLira tokens in supply. TRYB tokens are minted at the time of deposit, and an ID verification process takes place before the issuance. Users then redeem their tokens for fiat currency and transfer them on the network using the BiLira platform. 

Brazil Poised to Approve WhatsApp Pay, Central Bank Head Says

Brazil’s central bank chief says Facebook-owned WhatsApp will have its payment feature accepted during a normal regulatory process, as concerns about competition and data protection are mitigated. The company is seeking to have its partnership with Mastercard and Cielo green-lighted, even as the central bank discusses alternatives with other players. 

Senate Banking Committee chairman seeks clarity from OCC on crypto payments rules

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is pushing the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to craft policy on crypto payments. In a September 1 letter from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) to OCC acting comptroller Brian Brooks, the lawmaker said it would be “prudent” to provide clarity on payments in light of the office’s recent announcement that national banks’ and federal savings associations are eligible to custody cryptocurrency. 

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