The Central Bank of Sri Lanka rolled out LANKAQR, a standardized and interoperable QR code for payments launched “with the aim of moving towards a less-cash society while increasing financial inclusion in Sri Lanka.” LANKAQR enables customers to make payments, directly from their bank accounts to accounts of merchants or service providers, using payment apps of LANKAQR certified financial institutions. LANKAQR is a low-cost digital payment solution, which targets small and medium enterprises. Customers will not be charged for using LANKAQR based payments. [Read more]
Tether, will test trial a solution that will allow it to comply with the travel rule proposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The solution that will be tested, provided by Notabene, a software company that offers compliance solutions, will allow this information to be relayed between virtual asset service providers (VASPs). This solution aims to make tether (USDT) more friendly to law enforcement agencies all around the world. [Read more]
Recent data from the October 2020-based Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, a dataset that is representative for the U.S. population, demand for cryptocurrencies has increased during the pandemic. The pool of investors was much wider in 2020 than in 2019, and almost 4% of survey respondents own at least one cryptocurrency in comparison with the 1.9% of the previous year. [Read more]
“According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the top 10,000 individual investors in Bitcoin control about one-third of the cryptocurrency in circulation. By using a data collection method that differentiated between addresses belonging to intermediaries and individuals, NBER researchers were able to find the former controlled about 5.5 million Bitcoin at the end of last year while the latter controlled about 8.5 million. Additionally, the top 1,000 individual investors controlled about 3 million, and the concentration could be even greater. The concentration of miners is even more profound, data show. The NBER found that the top 10% of miners control 90% of the Bitcoin mining capacity, and just 0.1% (about 50 miners) control 50% of mining capacity. Such a high concentration could make the Bitcoin network vulnerable to a 51% attack. The paper found the concentration also decreases following sharp increases in the Bitcoin price, meaning the probability the network is vulnerable to a 51% attack is higher when Bitcoin’s price drops sharply.” [Read more]
This speech by Tara Rice, Head of Secretariat, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, focuses on three topics related to how CBDCs can help on the international dimension of payments: (i) a taxonomy to describe the different forms and elements of cross-border interoperability; (ii) the conceptual trade-off between cost and complexity on the one hand and benefits on the other (which in this case would be mainly in reducing the frictions of cross-border payments); and (iii) some thoughts on lessons learned and the way forward. [Read more]
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