Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (10/29/2020)

Avanti Granted Bank Charter And Approval Of Business Plan For Digital Asset Custody And Tokenized U.S. Dollar

The Wyoming State Banking Board voted 8-0 to grant Avanti Bank & Trust a bank charter. Avanti’s approved business plan includes a tokenized U.S. dollar called Avit™*; custody services for digital assets as a “qualified custodian” under the Investment Advisers Act; API-based online banking services, where customer deposits must be 100% backed by reserves; and prime services for digital assets. Avanti plans to provide commercial accounts in early 2021 and other accounts with high minimum balance requirements soon thereafter. Avit will initially be issued on Liquid (a sidechain of the Bitcoin blockchain, in coordination with Blockstream) and Ethereum. 

CBDC architectures, the financial system, and the central bank of the future

This column updates a recent BIS Quarterly Review article on central bank digital currency (CBDC) architectures, how they could complement existing payment options, and what they imply for the financial system and central bank of the future. They pinpoint the key trade-off for central banks in the digital era: they can operate either complex technical infrastructures (in the single-tier business model) or complex supervisory regimes (two-tier). There are many ways to do so, but all will require the central bank to develop substantial technological expertise. 

CBB launches the Bahrain Open Banking Framework

The Central Bank of Bahrain (“CBB”) launched the Bahrain Open Banking Framework (Bahrain OBF) to ensure holistic implementation of Open Banking services by the industry. This framework includes detailed operational guidelines, security standards and guidelines, customer experience guidelines, technical open Application Programming Interface (API) specifications and the overall governance framework needed to protect customer data. These standards follow the comprehensive rules on Open Banking which were previously issued in December 2018. 

Legal Aspects of Blockchain Technology — Does a Smart Contract Replace a Physical Contract?

This article analyzes from a German legal perspective whether a smart contract can replace a physical contract set up between various business parties. The legal assessment is differentiated between 1) the smart contract itself being the text of the contract, and 2) the smart contract only being used to execute a contract concluded elsewhere. Furthermore, it offers suggestions for the practical implementation. 

AWOL Founder Controls Single-sig OKEx Bitcoin Wallet: Report

The Bitcoin cold wallet for crypto-asset exchange OKEx is single-signature, with founder Xu Mingxing reportedly holding the private key. That is problematic for OKEx users, given that Xu was “taken away by police” in China several weeks ago. As a result, on October 16, OKEx said it had halted withdrawals, which continue to be unavailable.