On April 5, 2021, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) began its Phase 1 central bank digital currency (CBDC) proof of concept (PoC) work. In PoC Phase 1, the Bank plans to develop a test environment for the CBDC system and conduct experiments on the basic functions that are core to CBDC as a payment instrument such as issuance, distribution, and redemption. This phase will be carried out through March 2022. The BoJ will then move to Phase 2 to test more detailed functions of CBDC, and then, if necessary, on to Phase 3, in which private businesses and end-users will participate in a pilot program.
“After several attempts in previous years, Grayscale has renewed its push to release a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund on American asset markets. According to a Monday roadmap, two of its funds, GBTC and ETHE, are on the short-list to become proper ETFs. However, the company has not indicated any concrete efforts such as filing a new request with the SEC, nor has it provided meaningful timelines for these plans.”