Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (07/22/2021)*

India Eyeing Phased Roll Out of Central Bank Digital Currency

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is considering a “phased introduction” of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) including running pilot programs. CBDCs are desirable not just for the benefits they create in payments systems, but also might be necessary to protect the general public in an environment of volatile private virtual currencies. Hence, the RBI is currently working towards a phased implementation strategy and examining use cases which could be implemented with little or no disruption, including both retail and wholesale CBDC. Hence, it would appear that the RBI is still in the very early stages of it CBDC deliberations, even though it has been exploring the pros and cons of introducing CBDCs for quite some time. 

Gensler Says Tokens Must Work Within Securities Regime

US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair is taking aim at platforms that offer crypto tokens or other products that are priced off of the value of securities and operate like derivatives. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a stock token, a stable value token backed by securities, or any other virtual product that provides synthetic exposure to underlying securities. These platforms — whether in the decentralized or centralized finance space — are implicated by the securities laws and must work within our securities regime. If these products are security-based swaps [all of the rules that apply to such swaps,] such as trade reporting rules, will apply to them. Any offer or sale to retail participants must be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and effected on a national securities exchange.”  

Paxos lawyer: Tether and USDC not ‘real stablecoins

Paxos Trust lawyer and chief compliance officer Dan Burstein claims that Tether’s USDT and Circle’s USDC are unregulated “stablecoins” in name only. Paxo-issued Paxos Standard (PAX) and Binance Dollar (BUSD) are approved and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). That means each token is backed by reserves in the safest instruments, such as bank deposits insured by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or short-term maturity US Treasuries (see below). Gemini Dollars (GUSD) issued by Gemini Trust Company, are similarly NYDFS regulated.  Burstein also pointed out that USDC reserves are actually held on Circle’s balance sheet (i.e. not segregated), implying that Circle views USDC reserves as its own property and therefore at risk in the event of Circle’s bankruptcy.

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