Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (11/02/2020)

Is Cambodia’s Bakong Retail Payment System a Synthetic CBDC?

“Bakong does not give users direct access to central bank money, but bakong balances must be matched by banks’ deposits with the NBC, giving bakong a “cash-like” quality. Furthermore, payments are settled instantly across the central bank’s systems.” 

Australia Taps Ethereum for Wholesale Digital Dollar (AUD) Project

The Reserve Bank of Australia is partnering with Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Perpetual and ConsenSys Software, a blockchain technology company, on a collaborative project to explore the potential use and implications of wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) using distributed ledger technology (DLT). A proof-of-concept (POC) will be used to explore the implications of atomic delivery-versus-payment and other potential programmability and automation features of tokenised CBDC and financial assets. It will start by funding, settling and repaying tokenised syndicated loans on an Ethereum-based platform. 

The virus has crushed the challenger bank dream

Business-to-business (B2B) fintechs, particularly those that support rapidly growing ecommerce, have performed well on the whole, and have been popular among investors. But for the big consumer fintech names, it has been rather different story. Some, such as Monzo, have seen valuations plummet. Both Monzo and Revolut have faced a barrage of complaints from customers who have had their accounts frozen. Challenger banks serving SMEs have also not had a great pandemic. And finally, the VC money that has so far kept them afloat is not as readily available in a global downturn. 

Cayman Islands Announces Legal Framework in Bid to Attract Crypto Businesses

The Caymans’ Ministry of Financial Services kicked off Phase One of its anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) regulatory framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Phase Two, slated to come into force in June 2021, will introduce licensing requirements and prudential supervision for VASPs.