Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (06/02/2021)*

Central Bank Digital Currency and Stablecoin Monthly Monitor

Yesterday I published my May Monthly Monitor which I’ve narrowed down to focus on just central bank and sovereign digital currencies, and stablecoins. The idea remains to summarize all of the month’s key events in these spaces. Comments welcome! 

ECB Says Lack of Official Digital Currency Risks Loss of Control

A European Central Bank (ECB) report concluded that central banks that don’t offer central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) may face threats to their financial systems and monetary autonomy. Consumers and businesses in places that don’t have their own digital currency could end up being reliant on a small number of dominant payment-service providers, including foreign tech giants. That could affect the central bank’s ability to fulfill its mandate and act as a lender of last resort. 

Thailand’s Central Bank Taps German Payments Giant to Design CBDC Prototype

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has hired German technology company Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) for a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) proof of concept project. The BoT announced on April 2 that it had begun accepting public feedback on its retail CBDC with an end date of June 15. 

Beijing to give away over $6 million in latest digital yuan test

The Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau is going to give away 40 million yuan in China’s latest central bank digital currency (CBDC) test. 200,000 red envelopes, containing 200 digital yuan each, will be given away to local residents via a lottery run through apps of the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. To date, China has conducted 10 digital yuan lottery campaigns across 5 cities, according to The Block’s. Those campaigns started in October 2020, and a total of 230 million digital yuan has been given away. 

SEC delays decision on WisdomTree’s proposed bitcoin ETF

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed another crypto-asset exchange-traded dund (ETF) listing exchange listing request. This time it was the CBOE’s WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust, on which the SEC pushed back its decision from May 30 to July 14 “so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the comments received.” WisdomTree filed a prospectus with the SEC on March 11, while the CBOE proposed the rule change on March 26. At the end of April, the CBOE’s proposal to list VanEck’s ETF received a similar delay.  

Standard Chartered Bank Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange and Brokerage

Standard Chartered’s innovation arm, SC Ventures, will establish a crypto-asset brokerage and exchange platform, in a joint venture with BC Technology Group, a Hong Kong-based investment company specializing in digital assets. BC Technology operates OSL, the first crypto-asset exchange to be licensed by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. The new exchange platform and service will be based in the UK and target the European institutional investor market. It plans to launch the new service in the fourth quarter. This comes  shortly after HSBC said it has no plans to launch a bitcoin trading desk or any other crypto-asset services.  

*For those interested in intra-day updates and news that didn’t make the Daily Digest cut, please check out my Diigo fintech bookmarks: