Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (09/04/2020)

How programmable digital assets may change monetary policy

The high velocity of digital assets as programmable money, and/ or as a security that can be pledged as collateral, offer a way for central banks to rely less on traditional money metrics as a monetary policy tool. 

A second U.S. startup becomes a bank

Jiko has obtained a bank charter by acquiring its partner bank, Mid-Central National Bank of Minnesota. Jiko has a very stripped-down vision of banking, with no maturity transformation and no credit risk. Instead of being held in deposits, customer money is swept into Treasury Bills, which are liquidated when a person uses a debit card or withdraws cash from ATMs. The start-up secured approval for the move from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Since Jiko passes on the yield from investments and most of the swipe fees on an upcoming debit card to customers, it will likely charge a “Netflix-like” subscription fee. 

Ghana continuing central bank-issued digital currency planning

The Bank of Ghana, continues to explore central bank digital currency. The new digital currency will reportedly be named the ‘e-cedi’ and the Bank is in talks with key stakeholders to finalise the details of the project. In a recent keynote address at the 23rd Annual Banking Conference in Accra, Governor Addison reportedly described the move as a “pilot project” which will initially be trialled in a sandbox environment. 

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