Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (12/08/2021)

I’ve updated my tabulation of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) explorers, including adding Zimbabwe (see below).

Zimbabwe Central Bank Mulls Digital Currency, Spurns Crypto

Zimbabwe’s central bank is exploring the use of a CBDC rather than allowing cryptocurrencies as legal tender. Governor John Mangudya said that “we believe in central bank digital currency which is basically trying to say ‘how do we have an e-Zimbabwe dollar as opposed to cryptocurrency’.” The central bank plans to send a team to Nigeria to learn from their experiences in launching the first digital currency in Africa in October. [Read more]

Project Jura – Cross-border settlement using wholesale CBDC

The Bank for International Settlements, Bank of France and Swiss National Bank have shown that wholesale CBDC can be used to settle transactions between financial institutions across borders. The recently completed Project Jura explored settling FX transactions in euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDC, and issuing, transferring and redeeming tokenized euro-denominated French commercial paper between French and Swiss financial institutions. Project Jura was conducted in collaboration with  Accenture, Credit Suisse, Natixis, R3, SIX Digital Exchange and UBS. [Read more]

Central Bank Digital Currency: A Payments Perspective

The World Bank published a guidance note to assist central banks and public authorities as they investigate the use of central bank digital currency (CBDC) as an instrument to strengthen or modernize their national payment systems. It articulates the analysis and decision-making process through five fundamental “W” questions (why, what, when, where and who) that should holistically determine whether to issue CBDC. [Read more

Amazon cloud outage hits major websites, streaming apps

A major outage disrupted Amazon’s cloud services on December 7, temporarily knocking out streaming platforms Netflix and Disney+, Robinhood, and a wide range of apps. The outage was related to network devices and linked to an application programming interface. Amazon has experienced 27 outages over the past 12 months, according to web tool reviewing website ToolTester. [Read more]

Visa Introduces Crypto Advisory Services to help Partners Navigate a New Era of Money Movement

Visa launched its Global Crypto Advisory Practice to help clients and partners advance their crypto journeys. Through their work with more than 60 crypto platforms, Visa’s global network of consultants and product experts have deep expertise to help financial institutions evaluate the crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations like crypto rewards programs and CBDC-integrated consumer wallets. [Read more]

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Upcoming Virtual Conferences at Which I’m Speaking:

ITU DC³ Conference: From cryptocurrencies to CBDCs

The January 25-27 DC³ Conference: From cryptocurrencies to CBDC, will highlight the work of the Digital Currency Global Initiative with a spotlight on emerging trends, innovations and initiatives shaping the future of digital currencies. The conference is organized jointly by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Stanford University Future of Digital Currency Initiative (FDCI). [The program is available here, and click here to register (it’s free).]