Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (09/24/2020)

Malaysian Central Bank Exploring Digital Currency

Bank Negara Malaysia is exploring the merits and feasibility of issuing CBDC. Preliminary findings highlighted that this may offer some solution to the challenges associated with cross-border payments (e.g. synchronised cross-border transaction between different currencies across different platforms, reduced number of intermediaries and improved transparency of payment status). 

Visa’s Crypto Strategy Is Driving Its Next Stage Of Growth

Forbes recently spoke with Terry Angelos, SVP global head of fintech at Visa and Cuy Sheffield, senior director, head of crypto at Visa. They revealed that one area that Visa has been spending time on is offline digital currency payments. When central banks think about CBDCs, one of the potential features that they are paying attention to is offline payments. There are a lot of technical challenges around enabling this functionality in a secure manner. So Visa is continuing to advance research on that front and will probably have more to talk about in the coming year. 

3rd Global Crypto-Asset Benchmarking Study

This report reviews key crypto-asset industry developments since 2018 based on data from 280 companies in 59 countries and across four main market segments – exchanges, payments, custody and mining. It found that full-time equivalent employee growth slowed considerably following the late-2017 market frenzy, users primarily interact with service providers to enter and leave the crypto asset ecosystem, and the share of crypto-asset-only companies that did not conduct any KYC checks at all dropped from 2018’s 48% to 13%. North American and European service providers indicate that business and institutional clients make up 30% of their customers. This figure is much lower for APAC and Latin American firms at 16% and 10% respectively. 

European Commission to launch blockchain regulatory sandbox by 2022

The European Commission in collaboration with the 30-country alliance called the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) plans to launch a pan-European blockchain regulatory sandbox by 2022. The European Commission will work with EBP on the sandbox to test use cases of blockchain and digital assets in the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). The EBSI aims to deliver cross-border digital public services across the EU using blockchain technology.  

How Tokenized Bitcoin Promises The Future For DeFi

As most of decentralized finance applications continue to be build on Ethereum, Bitcoin just doesn’t quite fit into this ecosystem. And so, developers stepped up to the task to create a ‘wrapped’ version of Bitcoin, starting with wBTC, renBTC, and the newly re-launched tBTC, by the Keep Network. Investors can now convert BTC into tBTC, and use this new token to access the DeFi markets on Ethereum. 

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