Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (10/04/2020)

The ECB’s digital euro: anonymous or not?

The European Central Bank’s recent report exploring the idea of issuing a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) claims that “regulations do not allow anonymity in electronic payments and the digital euro must in principle comply with such regulations”. In fact, the Fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AML5) exempts issuers of e-money/prepaid cards from collecting customer information if user holdings do not exceed EUR50 (EUR150 for non-rechargeable stored value cards). Why did the EU build an anonymity exemption into payments law but now chooses to avoid exploiting it in potential CBDC designs? 

The 2020 State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report

The GSMA published a comprehensive overview of the trends in global connectivity to inform progress towards closing the coverage and usage gaps and the key challenges. The report accompanies the fifth annual update of the GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index, a tool which measures the performance of 170 countries, representing 99% of the global population, against the key enablers of mobile internet adoption: infrastructure; affordability; consumer readiness; and content and services. The Index was developed as part of the mobile industry’s commitment to drive mobile internet connectivity and accelerate digital inclusion. Some of the key take-aways are:

  • The coverage gap is now 7% (down from 10% in 2018) and stands at just under 600 million people, compared to 750 million in 2018. This reduction was driven primarily by South Asia – particularly India, where almost 99% of the population is covered by 4G, and by upgrades of 2G sites to 3G and 4G across Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • Approximately 3.4 billion people who live in areas covered by a mobile broadband network do not use mobile internet. This usage gap is now six times larger than the coverage gap.
  • A lack of literacy and digital skills persists as the main barrier to use among mobile users who are aware of mobile internet in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) surveyed. 
  • Smartphones have become more affordable, but handset affordability remains the main barrier to mobile ownership in many LMICs. 
  • Mobile data is becoming increasingly affordable but is still a significant challenge for the poorest in society. 

Posted from Diigo:

3 thoughts on “Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (10/04/2020)

  1. Very interesting news that collides at some point.I'm always bothered by the concept of Digital Anonymity, which IMO is bluntly impossible.Even with real cash, I would go and get some cash at the ATM, make change in a couple of places nearby and go and pay for a book at a bookshop, I can (not easily, I agree) still be somehow linked to the purchase. That's as close as anonymity can go IMO. So as soon as you pay digitally, you're traced. Bitcoins are traceable. Indeed, if you use TOR, and spend the time pass your tokens into various nul-sum transactions, it somehow dim the traces, but I'm pretty sure traces still exist.Regarding the new report from GSMA, it really shows that, yes, indeed, Libra was started to increase access to unbanked people! Yeah right…Even though coverage exists, if no 'modern' devices are broadly available, it will not solve anything. But, it's the chicken and the egg thing. We have to start somewhere. We started from the coverage, that was the right thing to do, but how long before people can actually use/benefit from that coverage? 5G? 6G?A side note on the fact that, while lots are battling hard with CBDCs and DLT/no DLT, we have a damn good example in front of us on "digital money, inclusion, added-value services" with Mobile money. It's far from being "perfect" (and what is anyway), but it's worth looking from closer.BR,

  2. PS: strange it's been published as "Anonymous"… no pun intended! I did select my email as signature!Nicolas Kozakiewicz

  3. The only truly anonymous digital currency is of the stored value device type. I'm thinking of a Mondex-like card onto which you upload digital currency after which you can do unfettered/unobserved P2P bearer-style transfers. So the only point at which anonymity is dropped is when the user loads and unloads them for cash. I'm aware of several prototypes being developed in stealth mode. I think one of them will be surfacing very soon, at which point I will post on it.

Comments are closed.