Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (02/11/2021)*

Bitcoin jumped to a record high of $48,317 after Mastercard and Bank of New York Mellon moved to make it easier for customers to use crypto-assets. 

MasterCard announces support for crypto on its network

MasterCard announced plans to support cryptocurrencies in 2021, paving the way for its nearly one billion users to spend digital assets at more than 30 million merchants. MasterCard also noted it is “actively engaging with several major central banks around the world” to support central bank digital currency initiatives, or CBDCs. Last year, the firm released a “virtual sandbox” tool to demonstrate how a CBDC can be used to settle consumer purchases using MasterCard’s infrastructure.  

America’s oldest bank, BNY Mellon, will custody Bitcoin

Bank of New York Mellon announced plans to hold, transfer and issue Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto-assets as an asset manager on behalf of its clients. 

Canadian universities propose designs for a central bank digital currency

The Bank of Canada engaged three independent university project teams to conduct CBDC exploratory design work with minimal direction from the Bank. All three design proposals were published. While the Bank is ramping up contingency planning for a central bank digital currency, it currently has no plans to issue one. The proposed designs are therefore not intended to be adopted by the Bank. Rather, the Bank will use these reports to inform its thinking and advance public conversation on a central bank digital currency design. 

Avalanche Developers Rush Client Patch as ‘Bug’ Slows Blockchain Transactions

The Avalanche network has come to a near halt after “a bug in the cross-chain functionality” code that enables the Avalanche protocol and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to speak with each other failed under high loads. The release of Avalanche‘s newest decentralized finance (DeFi) product, money market Pangolin, snowballed into “insane load” for the network, which further “triggered a very low probability bug that produced a bad state in the network”. 

* The views expressed herein are those of the author and should not be attributed to the International Monetary Fund, its Executive Board or its management.