The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the 15 finalists for the global competition to develop retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) solutions (Global CBDC Challenge). The finalists will progress to the Acceleration Phase before they pitch their solutions to a panel of judges and an international audience at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival. The Challenge attracted over 300 submissions from more than 50 countries. Participants were invited to address 12 problem statements relating to (i) CBDC instrument; (ii) CBDC distribution; and (iii) CBDC infrastructure; covering topics such as inclusivity, interoperability and programmability. The proposals from the finalists sought to address multiple problem statements through a variety of technology approaches including hardware wallets, digital identity and asset tokenization solutions.
A consortium of leading decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols will together provide up to $100 million in educational initiatives, grants, and incentives in an effort to educate individuals globally about decentralized finance. The DeFi for the People initiative — built on the Celo ecosystem — aims to utilize the decentralized nature of crypto and blockchain to provide finance to the world’s 6 billion mobile phone users. “Celo is an open-source blockchain ecosystem consisting of individuals and organizations who work alongside each other to promote global financial inclusion. Their conscious arm, Alliance for Prosperity, includes 150 partners such as Deutsche Telekom, Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reportedly has sent a presentation to Nigerian banks about the e-Naira central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. The CBDC, which will not be renumerated, will run on a Hyperledger Fabric DLT platform, and users will access it with the CBN’s three-tier Speed Wallet. The first tier, which does not require users to have a bank account, will require users to register their phone number validated as a National Identity Number (NIN) and has a daily send/receive limit of N50,000 (about $120) and a maximum balance of N300,000 ($730). Tier Two wallet users, who must have a bank account and Bank Verification Number (BVN), will be able to send and receive N200,000 ($485) and hold up to N500,000 ($1,200). The third Tier allows daily transactions up to N1,000,000 ($2,430) with holdings limited to N5,000,000 ($12,150).
Amazon is testing Affirm’s are testing “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) payment platform firm with select customers, and plans to make Affirm more broadly available to its customers in coming months. On the platform, customers are told the total cost of the transaction up front and have the option to split the total cost of purchases of US$50 or more into simple monthly payments at checkout. There are no late or transaction fees.
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