Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (03/18/2021)*

Visa CEO: We’ll let you spend crypto at 70 million merchants

CEO Al Kelly said Visa intends to bring bitcoin onto its network, making it easy for customers to spend and buy with their cryptocurrency. The firm is working with bitcoin wallets to allow bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency that can be immediately used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted. 

SEC has 45 days to respond to VanEck Bitcoin ETF filing

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now has until April 29, 2021 to deliver an initial decision on the VanEck Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund filing (45 days after the March 15 submission’s official publication on the SEC website on March 15). The SEC has to approve, decline or extend (up to 249 days) the review period for the Bitcoin ETF filing within that 45-day window, and the public also has a three-week period to submit comments on the SEC website.  

Thailand’s central bank warns against ‘illegal’ THT stablecoin

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has issued a warning against baht-denominated stablecoin Thai Baht Digital (THT), citing a sixty-year-old law, that makes the “creation, issuance, usage or circulation of any material or token for money is a violation of Section 9 of the Currency Act 1958.” “Although THT is currently not used as a medium of exchange, it could cause fragmentation to the Thai currency system should THT or other similar stablecoins come to replace, substitute or compete with Baht issued by the BOT,” the BoT noted. THT stablecoin is issued on the Terra platform which has produced various other stablecoins including the TerraUSD and TerraKRW. The Terra platform is also behind the chai payment app, an e-commerce wallet that is mainly used in Asia and powered by stablecoins.  

* 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.