The city of Chengdu launched China’s largest digital currency trial to date, following those already completed in Beijing, Suzhou and Shenzhen. Prior to Chengdu, there had been six trials of the “Digital Currency, Electronic Payment” (DCEP) project in China, with a total distribution of 120 million digital yuan. Chengdu’s trial, which will conclude March 19, is for an additional 40 million digital yuan.
Ripple is piloting a private version of the public, open-source XRP Ledger that provides Central Banks a secure, controlled and flexible solution for the issuance and management of digital currencies. Moving money on the CBDC Private Ledger will be cost-effective, reliable and close to instantaneous. Transactions can also happen at volumes required by Central Banks. The CBDC Private Ledger will handle tens of thousands of transactions per second (TPS) initially with the potential to scale to hundreds of thousands TPSs over time. Transactions on the CBDC Private Ledger are verified by the same consensus protocol used by the XRP Ledger, which is far less energy intensive and less expensive than public blockchains that leverage proof-of-work.
Bitfinex has launched a crypto-powered online-payments platform, Bitfinex Pay, that will provide online merchants with a means of receiving contactless and borderless digital token payments. The Bitfinex Pay widget can be integrated into websites, allowing small merchants to accept bitcoin, ether, Lightning Network BTC, and Tether’s own USDT stablecoin, with the crypto-assets sent directly to a Bitfinex wallet.
State Street launched a new Peer-to-Peer Repo program for the buy-side that they say enables competitive financing costs across a broader range of collateral types and yield enhancement opportunities compared to traditional repo markets. State Street guarantees the payment obligations of cash borrowers to cash lenders within the program following a default, thus facilitating bilateral trading by counterparties with varying credit and capital strength. Program participants trade with one another pursuant to a common master repurchase agreement, negotiating trade terms with approved counterparties within the program’s broader requirements guidelines.
* 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.