Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (01/17/2022)

Region-Wide Service Interruption of ECCB DCash Platform

On January 14, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) DCash central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform experienced an interruption in service that has affected all users. This break in service has been caused by a technical issue and the subsequent necessity for additional upgrades. Since the breakdown, no DCash transactions are being processed, but the ECCB is assuring users that all DCash wallet balances remain secure and unaffected. [Read more]

Malaysia’s Central Bank Studies Need for a Digital Currency

Bank Negara Malaysia “is actively assessing the value proposition of CBDC to Malaysia,” it said in an email to Bloomberg. “While a decision has not been made to issue CBDC, we have focused our research on CBDC via proof-of-concept and experimentation to enhance our technical and policy capabilities, should the need to issue CBDC arise in the future.” The central bank first signaled CBDC exploration intent in their 2020 annual report. [Read more]

Bitcoin’s Dominance of Crypto Payments Is Starting to Erode

Last year, Bitcoin’s use at merchants that use BitPay dropped to about 65% of processed payments, down from 92% in 2020. Ether purchases accounted for 15% of the total, stablecoins were 13% and new coins added to BitPay in 2021 — Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and Litecoin — accounted for 3%. The alternative coins’ use surged partly as more businesses have begun using stablecoins for cross-border payments. Also many investors may also have chosen to hold onto Bitcoin instead of spending it. [Read more]

MAS Bans Crypto Trading Platforms From Advertising in Public Areas

According to new Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) guidelines, crypto-asset service providers should not engage in marketing or advertising their services in public areas in Singapore such as through advertisements on public transport, public transport venues, public websites, social media platforms, broadcast and print media, or provision of physical ATMs. Also, they are also not allowed to promote their services through the engagement of third parties, such as social media influencers. [Read more]

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Central Bank Digital Currency Workshop, hosted by the CBDC Think Tank 

The CBDC Think Tank (CBDCTT)  is hosting an in-person CBDC Workshop in Washington DC on February 24. It’s an intensive and hands-on CBDC course for central bank leadership and staff that are looking to understand and position for CBDCs. The workshop is a mix of lectures from CBDC experts and hands-on exercises. Certification of completion will be provided by the CBDCTT. Note that it is open only to staff from the official sector, such as central bank and finance ministry staff! [Register here]