Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (06/25/2021)*

Palestinian Monetary Authority Eyes Digital Currency Launch

The Palestinian Monetary Authority is reportedly studying the possible issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Bound by 1990s accords with Israel, Palestine does not have a currency of its own. Instead, the Israeli shekel serves as the de facto currency, alongside the Jordanian dinar and the U.S. dollar. Palestinian banks are prohibited from making large cross-border cash transfers — including to Israel — and are often forced to borrow money to cover remittances. It is hoped that a Palestinian CBDC may address that issue. 

El Salvador is handing out up to $117 million in Bitcoin to its citizens

El Salvador will be giving out $30 in bitcoin to any of its adult citizens who download the Chivo e-wallet and go through the facial recognition process. On June 8, El Salvador approved its bitcoin bill, stating the cryptocurrency will become legal tender in the country on September 7. It also committed to providing exchange services for merchants, while also requiring that they accept bitcoin. Although the latter requirement is controversial, it is claimed that it would be discriminatory if businesses weren’t forced to accept bitcoin because the unbanked wouldn’t necessarily have another means of payment. 

Winklevosses Buy Offsets to Cut Their Bitcoin Carbon Footprint

Gemini Trust purchased about $4 million in credits to help offset the carbon emissions footprint of the Bitcoin it holds in custody. The firm made a donation in that amount to Climate Vault. The nonprofit purchased the permits, which will prevent more than 341,000 metric tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere. Gemini plans to continue to offset its carbon footprint until only renewable energy is used in securing the Bitcoin network. 

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