Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (09/29/2021)

Nigeria’s eNaira May Not Launch

Nigeria’s eNaira central bank digital currency (CBDC) which was scheduled to launch on October 1, may not go as planned due the central bank’s alleged infringement of the trademark of a Nigerian company Enaira Payment Solutions, which was incorporated in 2004. The company’s attorney has reportedly approached the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/113/2021 between ENaira Payment Solutions Limited v. Central Bank of Nigeria. The action includes an order to restrain the central bank from proceeding with the proposed launch. [Read more]

Bank of England Announces Membership of CBDC Engagement and Technology Forums

The Bank of England and HM Treasury announced the membership of the CBDC Engagement and Technology Forums. The creation of these groups was announced in April 2021, alongside the CBDC Taskforce which coordinates the exploration of a potential UK CBDC. The Engagement Forum consists of senior stakeholders from industry, civil society and academia to gather strategic input on policy considerations and functional requirements pertaining to CBDC. The Technology Forum engages stakeholders and gathers input on all technology aspects of CBDC from a diverse cross-section of expertise and perspectives. [Read more]

Cabs in Chinese city Xi’an pilot digital RMB as fare

“The Xi’an taxi industry and the Bank of Xi’an have reportedly launched an eCNY pilot program to accept eCNY as fare, becoming the first city in China to accept digital renminbi as a taxi fare. Ten cabs selected as pilot vehicles have QR codes posted, and passengers can scan the QR codes to pay the fare with digital yuan.” [Read more]  

CFTC hits Kraken with $1.25M in fines over alleged illegal offering

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ordered Kraken to pay $1.25 million dollars in civil monetary penalties for allegedly violating the Commodity Exchange Act. More specifically, Kraken is accused of failing to register as a futures commission merchant and llegally offering margined retail commodity transactions in digital assets. The CFTC’s case alleges that Kraken “offered margined retail commodity transactions in digital assets” to ineligible U.S. customers from June 2020 to July 2021. Kraken has since changed its policy on margin trading, but until June 2021 customers needed to close or settle their positions within 28 days. [Read more]  

Celo introduces its Provo CBDC sandbox

The Celo Foundation launched Provo, a sandbox for public and official sector experimentation on Celo that’s designed to allow central banks to explore and experiment with central bank digital currency (CBDC) and other digital assets. Provo will enable financial and regulatory authorities to test CBDC designs and implementation mechanisms in permissioned and/or permissionless, risk-free environments on the Celo platform. [Read more

Ripple Announces $250 Million Creator Fund to Evolve NFT Utility

Ripple announced a $250 million fund to provide creators with the financial, creative and technical support needed to explore and craft premium non-fungible token (NFT) and other tokenization projects on the XRP Ledger.  To that end, the company has partnered with creative agency VSA Partners and NFT marketplaces mintNFT and Mintable. [Read more

Swiss regulator FINMA approves first crypto assets fund

Switzerland’s Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) approved the first crypto index fund in the country. The “Crypto Market Index Fund” has been tailored to cater to qualified investors only and its approval is based on Swiss law. According to FINMA, the fund falls under the “other funds for alternative investments” group of investment products for its notable risks. [Read more

Mastercard Jumps on the BNPL Bandwagon

“Mastercard is set to introduce a new Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) offering, Mastercard Installments for its customers in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. The program gives consumers a flexible, ubiquitous way to pay online and in-store through equal, interest-free installments – an additional choice to debit, credit or prepaid cards. Mastercard Installments enables banks, lenders, fintechs and wallets the ability to offer BNPL experiences at merchants with flexibility across the entire acceptance network.” [Read more

EBA: Growth of digital platforms in the EU’s banking and payments sector

“The European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report on the platformization of the EU banking and payments sector. In the report, the EBA identifies a rapid growth in the use of digital platforms to ‘bridge’ customers and financial institutions, a trend it expects to accelerate in line with the wider trend toward the digitisation of the EU financial sector. The EBA believes platformization presents a range of potential opportunities for both EU customers and financial institutions. However, new forms of financial, operational, and reputational interdependencies are emerging and the EBA has identified steps to strengthen supervisory capacity to monitor market developments.” [Read more

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September 28-30 CordaCon Conference

At the September 28-30 CordaCon2021, on the 30th, I’ll be providing an overview of recent retail #CBDC developments. You can register for the event here:

October 4-6 CBDC Conference

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: