Robinhood is adding cryptocurrency wallets to its platform so that users can spend and trade their Bitcoin and Ethereum. The wallets will start as a test, and the company’s setting up a waitlist where people can sign up to be among the first to get access. Testing with an alpha group will start in the next few weeks. The company will take the alpha users’ feedback and address it on Twitter and its blog. People on the waitlist will start getting access to wallets by the end of 2021 and the wallets will be generally available in early 2022.
PayPal announced the new PayPal app, an all-in-one, personalized app that offers customers new features including PayPal Savings, a new high yield savings account provided by Synchrony Bank, alongside new in-app shopping tools that will enable customers to earn rewards redeemable for cash back or PayPal shopping credit and uncover deals with hundreds of merchants. It will now also include support for paycheck Direct Deposits through PayPal’s bank partners with two-day early access.
Singapore-based Conflux is piloting an offshore renminbi (RMB) stablecoin in a free trade zone in Shanghai, in a move to boost cross-border payments. It will run on the Conflux Network, China’s only regulatory compliant public blockchain, which has also received endorsements from the Shanghai and Hunan governments. As part of China’s five-year plan, Shanghai will be the central focus of global free trade and shipping in China. In July the Government of China granted Shanghai permission to explore free trade with an offshore RMB stablecoin; the only free trade zone in China to pilot trade with RMB.
This paper by Charles Kahn and a couple of Bank of Canada staffers argues that CBDC can be designed to improve on physical cash, combining offline robustness with loss recovery, by including an expiry date, automatically renewable whenever the holder is online. Users would be reimbursed automatically for lost offline balances after they expire. According to the authors’ simple model the welfare-maximizing expiry date is about 20 days from the point the digital wallet goes offline.
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At the September 28-30 @inside_r3 #CordaCon2021, I’ll be providing an overview of recent retail #CBDC developments. You can register for the event here: https://www.cordacon.com
On October 4 I’ll be providing an overview of international work on retail CBDC and evolving thinking on motivations, system design and safeguards at The CBDC Conference. You can register for this and the full three-day (October 4-6) event here: https://www.cbdc-conference.com/index.php