Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (10/01/2021)

Court okays eNaira rollout but the Nigerian central bank postpones launch

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) deferred the launch of the eNaira central bank digital currency (CBDC) in deference to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary. The launch was scheduled for October 1, and Nigerians have already been able to download the eNaira app from either the Google Play or Apple App stores for some days now. Also, a trademark infringement lawsuit by Nigeria’s Enaira Payment Solutions, that had threatened to restrain the launch, had been cleared away the day before. [Read more]

El Salvador just started mining bitcoin with volcanoes for the first time ever – and they’ve already made $269

El Salvador has mined 0.00599179 bitcoin, or about $269, with power harnessed from a volcano, according to a President Bukele tweet early on the morning of October 1. Earlier in the week, the president posted a teaser video, which included shots of a government-branded shipping container full of bitcoin mining rigs, technicians installing and plugging in ASIC miners, as well as sweeping landscape aerials of an energy factory in the thick of a forest, bordering a volcano. [Read more]

SEC Pushes Deadlines on Four Bitcoin ETF Applications to Late 2021

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has pushed back the deadlines for four Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund) applications to late 2021.  They include applications for the Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund (extended to December 8), the Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF (December 24), the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust (December 11), and the Global X Bitcoin Trust (November 21). They are among at least a dozen outstanding Bitcoin ETF applications on the SEC’s desk. [Read more]

Caribbean Currency Convertibility in an Era of Central Bank Digital Currency

The Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago published a paper that proposed the use of CBDC to facilitate currency convertibility to promote Caribbean intra-regional trade. Currency convertibility would be achieved through a Caribbean Plurilateral CBDC Swap Arrangement – a network of bilateral swap agreements in national currencies among selected Caribbean central banks – that will leverage the deployment of a two-tiered CBDC architecture. Commercial banks would facilitate exchange payments received in one currency to their respective national currencies without using the US dollar as the vehicular currency. This reduces the call on foreign exchange reserves and moves a step closer to advancing the objective of deeper economic integration under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. [Read more]

ICYMI: The BIS and seven AE central banks explore what a retail CBDC might look like

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and seven advanced economy central banks published three reports intended to build a global consensus for the design and development of a retail CBDC. [Read more]

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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: