Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (04/02/2021)

I’ve updated my CBDC explorer tabulation for the new Bank of Thailand initiative (see below), and updated a few other entries. The current count is 52, and that doesn’t include central banks operating in stealth mode, of which there are many I know of.

Bank of Thailand to begin central bank digital currency tests in 2022

The Bank of Thailand has set its agenda for a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) with preliminary testing protocols scheduled to begin in Q2 2022. As part of its plans, the central bank published a preliminary report detailing its CBDC thesis. The main motivations are increasing financial inclusion and reducing the risk that private stablecoins underming the central bank’s “monetary sovereignty and financial stability.” The central bank will begin its CBDC developmental efforts by engaging with stakeholders followed by cost-benefit analysis to ascertain the opportunities, risks and challenges.  

Digital version of India’s fiat currency still in works

The Reserve Bank of India is still working on introducing a digital version of the fiat currency, assessing the financial stability implications of introducing such a central bank digital currency (CBDC). As the underlying technology is still developing, it is exploring ways for a clear, safe and legally certain settlement finality, which is most crucial for a secure and efficient payment system.  

Hong Kong and China test cross-border digital yuan

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) have reportedly conducted technical tests on the cross-border use of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).  

Crunchfish enables digital cash as the default means of payment for real-time mobile payments

Crunchfish’s Digital Cash Wallet compliments any digital payment service on smart cards or in digital wallets with capabilities that replicates paying with cash (albeit without its complete privacy). A two-step hierarchical architecture makes Digital Cash payments independent from the net, offering instant clearing offline at the moment of payment, followed by settlement online to move money between accounts. The Digital Cash Wallet has a mirrored virtual online account which is debited when either the payer or the receiver connects online. The virtual account may only be debited from the Digital Cash Wallet, protecting against overdrafts, and it also registers all activity in the Digital Cash Wallet. VISA has recently proposed this two-tier architecture for CBDC.