The Bank of Russia is exploring the possibilities of issuing the central bank digital currency (CBDC), a digital ruble. It doesn’t see the digital ruble as a replacement for cash or non-cash rubles, but as a supplement. The central bank said it hasn’t yet decided whether to issue a CBDC but will hold a public consultation period on the matter. The bank said it considers it vital to discuss key aspects, advantages, possible risks, stages and timing of a digital ruble project with the financial sector, the expert community as well as with all stakeholders.
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a roadmap to enhance cross-border payments. It addresses the key challenges often faced by cross-border payments and the frictions in existing processes that contribute to these challenges. The roadmap provides a high-level plan, which sets ambitious but achievable goals and milestones, and is designed to allow for flexibility and adaptation in the path to get there as the work progresses, while ensuring that the safeguards in terms of secure processing and legal compliance are observed. It encompasses a variety of approaches and time horizons, in order to achieve practical improvements in the shorter term while acknowledging that other initiatives will need to be implemented over longer time periods.
One of the components (Building Block 19) factors an international dimension into CBDC design that will be led by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub (BISIH), Committee for Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB):
- The CPMI with the BISIH, IMF, and WB is to take stock of provisional domestic CBDC designs and central bank experimentation with multi-CBDC arrangements. (November 2020 – July 2021)
- The IMF, in cooperation with other relevant stakeholders, will analyse international macro-financial implications of cross-border CBDC use. (November 2020 – July 2021)
- The CPMI with the BISIH, IMF, and WB to identify and analyse options for access to and interlinking of CBDCs that could improve cross-border payments. (August 2021 – July 2022)
- The BISIH is to assess practical and technological complexities of implementing multi-CBDC arrangement designs and interoperability types; experiments with arrangements that enable access and interlinking and facilitate efficient cross-currency CBDC payments. (January 2022 – December 2022)
- The BIS, with the IMF and WB, to organise a conference to share information exchange/encourage collaboration on cross-border payments across (planned) CBDC implementations. (January 2022 – December 2022)
- The IMF and WB to provide technical assistance to facilitate cross-border use of CBDC if requested. (From July 2022 onwards)
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a report that sets out ten high-level recommendations for the regulation, supervision and oversight of “global stablecoin” (GSC) arrangements, both at the domestic and international level, that are proportionate to the risks. They support responsible innovation and provide sufficient flexibility for jurisdictions to implement domestic approaches. GSC arrangements are expected to adhere to all applicable regulatory standards and to address risks to financial stability before commencing operation, and to adapt to new regulatory requirements as necessary. Some of the regulatory requirement standard setting is part of Building Block 4 of the FSB’s cross-border payments roadmap discussed above, which stretches out into 2023, which implies that Libra’s launch could be delayed for years.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’s (BSP’s) Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023 was approved by its Monetary Board. The goal is to convert 50% of the total volume of retail payments into digital form and expand the number of the financially included to 70% of Filipino adults. The second goal is to expand the availability of more innovative digital financial products and services, enabled by the Philippine Identification System, and supported by the availability of a real-time payment and settlement system. http://www.bsp.gov.ph/publications/media.asp?id=5537
Algorand, the proof-of-stake blockchain platform on which the Marshall Islands SOV will run boasts a team of advisors that includes MIT economics researchers, game theory experts, several Turing Award winners, and now a Nobel Laureate (Paul Milgrom).
There are now more than 3.8 billion mobile internet subscribers globally, representing 49% of the world’s population. However, adoption has not been equitable, with mobile internet adoption standing at 26% in Sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2019. The region accounts for almost half of the global population not covered by a mobile broadband network.