Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (08/18/2021)*

Bank of Jamaica will require court order to track CBDC transactions

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) reportedly said that, although wallet providers can monitor personal information and transactions of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) users, this information cannot shared with the BOJ and any other authority without a court order. The BoJ will only capture general data for economic analysis. A total of $230 million CBDC has been minted as part of a pilot exercise which ends in December 2021. If the pilot is successful, full roll-out is expected in 2022. 

Ukraine’s Digital Ministry Plans to Pay Employees With Digital Hryvnia in Pilot Project

Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation is reportedly planning to pay its employees with Ukraine’s e-hryvnia central bank digital currency (CBDC) as part of future pilot testing. Another e-hryvnia pilot idea being considered is to use it in the payment of social benefits and government subsidies, and to employ smart contracts that can potentially limit the use and misuse of such government grants. 

Facebook’s Marcus demands “fair shot” for Novi payments

Facebook’s digital wallet, Novi, could abandon the Diem stablecoin in favor of fiat money if regulators do not change their tune, says David Marcus, head of Facebook Financial and Novi. The current iteration of the project involves the issue of a single stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, versus the original plan to issue a series of stablecoins backed by individual traditional currencies, as well as a token based on the currency-pegged stablecoins. Marcus claims that US authorities’ “hostility” to Facebook’s move into payments, is “profoundly un-American” and that the firm deserve a “fair shot” while also pointing out that it is already well embedded in the sector.   

What Are Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)?

I was about to say that this is one of the more accurate central bank digital currency (CBDC) explainers from outside academia and the official sector, until I got to the part that described Cambodia’s Project Bakong as CBDC. The misnomer comes from a World Economic Forum (WEF) paper that described Bakong as a quasi-form of CBDC. But here’s Chea Serey, assistant governor and director general of the National Bank of Cambodia, putting the record straight (it’s not at all a CBDC). It’s a blockchain-based central bank-run interbank payment system.

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