Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (07/26/2021)*

Amazon ‘definitely’ lining up Bitcoin payments and token, confirms insider

Amazon is reportedly looking to accept Bitcoin payments by the end of the year, and is investigating its own token for 2022. Amazon is also currently looking for a “Product Lead” to develop its digital currency and blockchain strategy and product roadmap.

Central bank digital currency for the UK

This column summarizes the findings from a Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts on the UK economy, who were nearly unanimous in agreeing that a Bank of England-issued digital currency would benefit the British economy. Half of the panel also believed that a digital currency would have limited impact on the UK banking system. 

Crypto Exchanges FTX, Binance Limit Traders to 20 Times Leverage

Binance and FTX are reducing maximum leverage on offer to traders to 20 times, instead of 125 and 101, respectively. While crypto exchanges moved to rein in the most extreme use of the strategy, they are far from turning it off — with 20-times leverage still higher than what’s offered in standard U.S. stock-market accounts.

Tether Executives Said to Face Criminal Probe Into Bank Fraud

A U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) probe into Tether is homing in on whether executives behind the USDT stablecoin committed bank fraud, a potential criminal case that would have broad implications for the crypto-asset market. The DoJ is scrutinizing whether Tether concealed from banks that transactions were linked to crypto-assets. 

Cash and COVID-19: The impact of the second wave in Canada

The Bank of Canada published some survey-based insights into how COVID-19 has affected the demand for, and the usage of, cash. Cash in circulation increased from $83 billion before the pandemic to more than $100 billion by the end of 2020, mostly due to large-denomination bank notes ($50 and $100). Actual cash usage was more prevalent among older, less-educated and low-income individuals.

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