Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (06/08/2021)*

The Marshall Islands SOV Deconstructed

At first glance, the Marshall Island’s SOV scheme seems like a great way to raise government revenue. However, a closer look at it reveals that, like most things that sound too good to be true, it is. 

Colonial Hackers Broke the Fundamental Bitcoin Rule

The price of Bitcoin has fallen back into the low $30,000 range amid news that US federal authorities have recovered some of the Bitcoin paid by Colonial Pipeline to resolve a ransomware attack that shut down the East Coast oil pipeline for nearly a week in early May. Colonial paid $4.4 million in Bitcoin to take back control of its systems. Deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate said the bureau seized the money from a Bitcoin wallet that DarkSide ransomware actors used to collect the payment from Colonial Pipeline. There were unfounded rumors that the attackers’ bitcoin wallet had been “hacked” which is an unlikely scenario. Basically the ransom hackers used a rented cloud server, the FBI got a subpoena and took control of it and recovered coins. 

Future-proofing Hong Kong for Central Bank Digital Currencies

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) will strengthen its research work to increase Hong Kong’s readiness in issuing CBDCs at both wholesale and retail levels. In addition to the continued effort on wholesale CBDCs, the HKMA has been working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre to research retail CBDCs and will begin a study on e-HKD to understand its use cases, benefits, and related risks. The HKMA will also continue to collaborate with the People’s Bank of China in supporting the technical testing of e-CNY in Hong Kong with a view to providing a convenient means of cross-boundary payments for both domestic and mainland residents. 

Basel Committee agrees to  a public consultation on crypto-assets

The Basel Committee agreed to hold a public consultation to seek the views of external stakeholders on the design of prudential treatment of banks’ exposures to crypto-assets. This builds on an earlier discussion paper and the responses received from a broad range of stakeholders, and ongoing initiatives under way at other global forums and standard-setting bodies. The consultation paper will be published this week. The Basel Committee is the primary global standard setter for the prudential regulation of banks and provides a forum for cooperation on banking supervisory matters. 

Broadening Narrow Money: Monetary Policy with a Central Bank Digital Currency

This paper jointly written by Bank of England and Bank for International Settlements staff, discusses central bank digital currency (CBDC) and its potential impact on the monetary transmission mechanism. It first offers a general definition of CBDC which should make the concept accessible to a wide range of economists and policy practitioners. It then investigates how CBDC could affect the various stages of transmission, from markets for central bank money to the real economy. It concludes that monetary policy would be able to operate much as it does now, by varying the price or quantity of central bank money. Transmission may even be strengthened for a given change in policy instruments. 

Central bankers can sign up here:

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