Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (11/29/2020)

SAMA and CBUAE Issue Report on Results of Joint Wholesale CBDC Project Aber

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) published the results of their joint “Aber” wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) pilot project. The distributed ledger technology (DLT) based wCBDC was issued by SAMA and the CBUAE, and used only by them and participating banks, to settle domestic and cross-border commercial bank transactions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It was run on the Hyperledger Fabric platform. R3 Corda and JPMC Quorum were also considered but rejected.

The pilot confirmed that a cross-border dual-issued currency was technically viable and that it was possible to design a distributed payment system that offers the two countries significant improvement over centralized payment systems in terms of architectural resilience. The key requirements that were all met, including those around privacy and decentralization, and all of the performance objectives were exceeded, proving that DLT technologies could offer high levels of performance whilst not compromising safety or privacy. 

Guggenheim Fund Files to Be Able to Invest Up to Almost $500M in Bitcoin Through GBTC

Guggenheim Funds Trust filed an amendment with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow its $5 billion Macro Opportunities Fund gain exposure to bitcoin by investing up to 10% of the fund’s net asset value in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). The Macro Opportunities Fund is part of Guggenheim Investments, the global asset management and investment advisory division of Guggenheim Partners, and has more than $233 billion in total assets across fixed income, equity and alternative strategies. 

PayPal suspends user for crypto trading using PayPal’s own service

According to U.S.-based Reddit user u/TheCoolDoc, PayPal sent them a message stating it had permanently limited their account “due to potential risk.” The user said they had made at least 10 crypto transactions within a week, purchasing during dips and selling when the price was high, and PayPal had asked for an explanation for each transaction. The maximum dollar amount for weekly crypto purchases is $20,000, but there doesn’t appear to be any limit on numbers of trades per week.