Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (04/30/2021)*

National Bank of Georgia Considering Launching a Retail Digital Gel

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) is considering launching a digital version of its national currency, the Lari (Gel). The NBG will use its Open Regulatory Framework tools, to facilitate the retail central bank digtital currency (CBDC) development process. Rapid live testing in a controlled environment should enable the agile development of CBDC technology and an impetus to develop underlying technology to full potential, enhancing risk management and user experience. Interaction with the RegLab should also help NBG to develop its regulatory approach and update legal framework to enable smooth and sustainable CBDC technology operation. 

China Orders Tech Giants to Unbundle Financial Services

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and four other regulatory agencies summoned 13 domestic internet platform companies including Tencent, JD Finance and ByteDance for talks on their financial businesses. The firms were urged to bring their online lending and deposit-taking businesses in line with regulatory requirements, and to to refocus on their payment service business, enhance their transaction transparency and break any information monopolies.  

Principles for CBDC Technical Implementation

This paper from Digital Asset Holdings co-written by Stanford University’s Darrell Duffie provides a high level overview of some central bank digital currency (CBDC) principles and key factors supporting them that should be considered when choosing and implementing a suppporting technology. The challenge of creating and implementing CBDC is large and complex, requiring addressing current challenges, while facilitating future innovation and support yet-to-be known requirements and opportunities. The ability to start small, facilitate wide adoption, evidence controls, and maintain flexibility to maximize growth are essential. The paper particularly emphasizes the key requirements of privacy protection and interoperability. 

MAS commits $42 million to RegTech grant scheme

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a new Regulatory Technology (RegTech) grant scheme and an enhancement of the Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG) scheme to accelerate technology adoption in the financial sector.  MAS will commit $42 million for the RegTech grant scheme and enhanced DAG scheme. The RegTech grant scheme, aims to promote the adoption and integration of technology solutions in Singapore-based financial institution (FI) risk management and compliance functions. The DAG helps smaller FIs and FinTech firms adopt digital solutions to better cope with the impact of COVID-19, and to position themselves for subsequent recovery and growth. 

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