Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (09/10/2020)

China’s DC/EP central bank digital currency — what we know

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) says it’s been working on a central bank digital currency (CBDC) since 2014, and they announced in July 2019 that they were moving the CBDC project to active status — to turn it into something releasable to the public. But there have been no official source hard details from the PBOC about the project. The PBOC seems reluctant to promote DC/EP. In this post David Gerard provides a nice summary of what we do and don’t know. 

Major Bank-Led Digital Cash Settlement Project Gets Delayed

Technological development work on the Fnality‘s “Utility Settlement Coin” initiative has progressed, but it still needs regulatory approval. It hopes to receive that approval by the first quarter of 2021. Initially spearheaded by UBS Group AG, the project has been in the works for more than five years and seeks to create a more efficient way for banks to settle financial transactions. In June 2019 banks including Barclays Plc, Banco Santander and Credit Suisse Group AG announced the creation of Fnality. The company had said it expected the project to be commercialized by 2020. The project is looking to replace some of the cumbersome processes and paperwork involved in transferring value between financial organizations by using wholesale stablecoins denominated in U.S. dollars, yen, euro, sterling and Canadian dollars, and backed by deposits at central banks (ie “synthetic” wholesale central bank digital currency). 

Fintech Can Come Out of the Shadows

In a case pending in the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, New York financial-services superintendent Linda Lacewell claims a company can’t be a bank unless it accepts deposits, no matter that it offers other traditional bank services. According to the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) this claim is legally and historically wrong, as well as risky. The OCC determines which companies qualify for charters as national banks or federal savings associations and supervises their activities. It contends that consumer protection and the safety and soundness of the U.S. financial system are at risk if the lawsuit succeeds, as services that formerly were subject to federal supervision are increasingly occurring in the shadow banking sector, outside the OCC’s regulatory oversight. 

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