Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (04/08/2021)

Digital yuan campaign planned for contested island in the South China Sea

South China’s Hainan Province, which administers the prefectural Sansha City on a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, will reportedly run a two-week campaign from April 12 to April 25, to promote the use of the digital yuan among island residents. The Industrial and Commercial Bank’s Hainan Branch will support various consumption offers across island supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, where participants will receive a 99-yuan discount for every expenditure worth 100 yuan. 

Cuban central bank approves new money transfer app

The Central Bank of Cuba granted a licence to the country’s telecommunications monopoly, Etecsa to operate a digital wallet service. The wallets will have a maximum balance of 5,000 Cuban pesos, and individual transactions will be limited to 1,500 pesos. Customers can only use the wallets to make payments at businesses that use Transfermovíl, to transfer money between wallets, or to transfer to bank accounts. The app will not facilitate cash withdrawals. Users can transfer money into the wallet from bank accounts or from their mobile telephone accounts.  

$1B Fei Stablecoin’s Rocky Start Is a Wake-Up Call for DeFi Investors

The $1 billion Fei Protocol stablecoin project has gotten off to a very rocky start. Fei was built to maintain a 1:1 peg with the U.S. dollar but it has not quite hit the mark over this first week of its existence. It appears the team underestimated the demand it would see to participate in the launch. It also seems clear that many of those who jumped into the project didn’t understand Fei’s “direct incentive” method for stabilizing the price. For the first few days FEI danced around a nickel to a dime off the target. Since yesterday it has tanked hard, now almost a quarter off its goal of $1, according to CoinGecko. 

Fei took cues from traditional finance

Despite the apparent complexity, Fei’s mechanism is based on a similar principle to most fiat currencies, where central banks often use their own reserves of gold and foreign currencies to back their currency’s value during periods of strong selling pressure. Direct restrictions on selling are also not new, with countries like Lebanon, Venezuela and Turkey offering recent examples of enacting stringent capital controls in a bid to stabilize their currency’s value. 

State Street to Start Trading Crypto on Platform It’s Helping Build

State Street’s Currenex trading technology arm is working with London-based FX trading infrastructure provider Pure Digital to to create an institution-focused digital currency trading platform. It will be a fully automated over-the-counter market for digital assets, with physical delivery and bank custody. Scheduled for launch in mid-2021, the new platform will allow institutional investors to trade using bilateral credit and multiple custody solutions. 

Why Coinbase’s stellar earnings are not what they seem

“It’s worth reminding investors that the stand out concern remains that the current framework under which Coinbase is regulated (a money transmission one) is not at all suited to regulating its broader activities, among them its exchange activity and principal-trading operations. This is important because if Coinbase’s regulatory status were to change (and regulatory ambiguity is clocked in the company’s S1 risk factors) the company could be forced to drop many of these hugely profitable activities or be forced to operate at a much higher capital cost.”