Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (08/05/2021)*

Fed Governor Waller ‘Highly Skeptical’ of a Fed Digital Coin

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said he is “highly skeptical” about a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC). He remains “skeptical that a [it] would solve any major problem confronting the U.S. payment system.” Waller also said he saw no reason why the dollar wouldn’t continue to dominate the international payment system even if other nations started using digital currencies for cross-border contracts. He also found  it “implausible… that developing a CBDC is the simplest, least costly way to reach the [unbanked].”

US Senators Move to Exempt Bitcoin Miners From Tax Provision in Infrastructure Bill

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cynthia Lummis (R-MT), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have introduced an amendment that would exempt Bitcoin miners and validators on other blockchain networks from a provision aimed at raising $28 billion in tax revenue to help pay for the bill.  

Ethereum London hard fork goes live

“Ethereum’s London hard fork arrived almost on schedule at 12:33 pm UTC on August 5, 2021 at block height 12,965,000, ushering in Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559.” With the upgrade triggered, Ethereum will now undergo a significant overhaul of the network’s transaction fee market and other parameters that should make the network more stable, and make fees more predictable to users. Under EIP-1559, each transaction on Ethereum will involve burning the base fee, which automatically decreases the ETH circulating supply and reduce the profitability of mining ETH. 

Binance’s Insurance Fund

On 19 May, Binance customers using leverage found positions automatically liquidated as the crypto price drop wiped out all the collateral in their margin accounts before they could transfer extra funds onto the exchanges. This blog post examines another side of the story – the actual value of Binance’s insurance fund and its ability to meet the potential pay-outs on 19 May, had the platform not been closed. It claims that, if the futures platform had not closed, Binance would have had to subsidise its insurance fund by a billion USDT or more. Also, the post speculates that there is a rather incestuous relationship between Binance and Tether, and in fact, a big chunk of the commercial paper that Tether holds against its outstanding USDT is issued by Binance. 

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