Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (03/24/2021)*

The Bank of Jamaica Prepares for Central Bank Digital Currency

The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) announced that eCurrency Mint has been chosen as the technology provider to support the Bank of Jamaica in testing a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) solution in the BoJ’s Fintech Regulatory Sandbox for a pilot in May to end December 2021. The issuance and distribution of the CBDC will be fully integrated with the BoJ’s financial market infrastructure, the JamClear Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS). The approach will not compete with deposits in deposit taking institutions, but  rather it will leverage the existing financial and telecommunications infrastructures of the country. The BoJ will issue CBDC to commercial banks and other deposit-taking institutions licensed or authorised by BoJ. These entities will distribute CBDCs to the retail market. Meanwhile, the legislative review to amend the Bank of Jamaica Act to concretize BoJ as sole issuer of CBDC is well underway.

IMF staff say Marshall Islands digital currency would raise risks

International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff concluded that the issuance of the digital currency SOV by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) as a second legal tender would raise risks to macroeconomic and financial stability as well as financial integrity. The RMI’s legal, regulatory, and institutional framework is not yet ready to accommodate the SOV issuance and manage associated risks. SOV issuance could jeopardize the RMI’s last USD corresponding banking relationship (CBR). This combined with anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) risks (including those related to the SOV) could disrupt external aid and other important financial flows, resulting in a significant drag on the economy. Hence, the potential cost of the SOV issuance will likely outweigh the expected benefits.

Bundesbank successfully tested DLT-based securities settlement in central bank money

Deutsche Börse, Deutsche Bundesbank and Germany’s Finance Agency successfully tested a settlement interface for electronic securities, working with a range of other market participants. Securities settlement using distributed ledger technology (DLT) is performed with the aid of a “trigger” solution and a transaction coordinator in TARGET2, the Eurosystem’s large-value payment system. In doing so, the participants have demonstrated that it is possible to establish a technological bridge between blockchain technology and conventional payment systems to settle securities in central bank money with no need to create central bank digital currency.

Tesla now accepts Bitcoin from US customers

Elon Musk has announced that Tesla cars can now be purchased using Bitcoin, and Tesla would operate Bitcoin nodes directly, and would hold on to the Bitcoin it accumulates without converting it to fiat.

Real Life ‘The Matrix’ Project Uses Body Heat To Mine For Cryptocurrency

The Institution of Human Obsolescence (IoHO) has developed a way to use excess body heat from humans to mine for cryptocurrency. It requires humans to suit up to convert body heat into energy for cryptocurrency mining. IoHO has suited up 37 workers so far, all of whom are placed in a body suit that uses thermoelectric generators to capture excess body heat. That heat is converted to energy, which is then used to power mining efforts. 

* 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.