Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (12/09/2021)

I’ve updated my tabulation of wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) experiments. It includes new developments from the Reserve Bank of Australia (Project Atom) and the BIS Innovation Hub (Project Jura). [Read more]

Reserve Bank of Australia and Industry Partners complete Wholesale CBDC Research Project

The Reserve Bank of Australia, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Perpetual and ConsenSys, with input from King & Wood Mallesons, today jointly released a report to mark the successful conclusion of Project Atom. The project involved the development of a proof-of-concept (POC) for the issuance wholesale CBDC to fund, settle and repay a tokenized syndicated loan on an Ethereum-based distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform. Integrating a wholesale CBDC on the same DLT platform enabled “atomic” delivery-versus-payment settlement of the drawdown, novation and repayment of the tokenized syndicated loan, demonstrating efficiency gains and operational risk reductions versus the normally highly manual and paper-based processes. [Read more]

China, Hong Kong Enter Second Phase of Cross-Border Digital Yuan Trials

The People’s Bank of China is reportedly working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on adding cross-border payment features to China’s e-CNY retail CBDC. They’ve run preliminary technical tests with a limited number of Hong Kong residents who could create e-CNY wallets with basic features, such as top-up, transfer and payments to certain merchants. And now they’re exploring approaches for interlinking the e-CNY and the Faster Payment System in Hong Kong. [Read more]

Kazakhstan to test national digital currency

The National Bank of Kazakhstan reportedly may soon launch a pilot of its digital tenge retail CBDC. The prototype platform has been completed and the final report on the results of the proof of concept work is set to be published on December 15, 2021. The final decision on whether to issue the digital tenge will be made in 2022. [Read more]

WhatsApp launches cryptocurrency payments pilot in the US

Meta’s WhatsApp has launched a pilot that lets a “limited number” of people in the US send and receive money instantly from within a chat using Pax Dollars (USDP) stablecoins. The feature is powered by Meta’s Novi digital wallet launched as a pilot six weeks ago. There are no fees for sending or receiving money, no limits on how often payments can be sent, and no fees to keep a balance in a Novi account or to withdraw it to a linked bank account. [Read more]

Australia Set for Massive Shakeup to Crypto Regulations: Treasurer

The Australian government will announce major reform to payment systems, including broadening the definition of services and products that can be regulated. Crypto exchanges will be brought within the regulatory perimeter, and the treasury will be working on a CBDC with the Reserve Bank. The proposed regulation will also take aim at “buy now, pay later” services. [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).]