Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (02/27/2022)*

What’s the marketing strategy for the Fed’s CBDC?

JP Koning wonders whether the U.S. Fed has a central bank digital currency (CBDC) marketing pitch beyond that it is safer than other forms of money (“free from credit risk and liquidity risk”). He argues that “safe” is something that Americans already have with commercial bank money thanks to deposit insurance. And because the Fed is going with an “intermediated” model, users will still have to deal with (and probably pay fees to) the same old banks and other payment service providers. [Read more]

Central bank digital currencies risk becoming a gigantic flop

Peter Bofinger and Thomas Haas made a similar argument a year ago with respect to advanced economy countries more generally – i.e., where a large share of the population have access to government-insured bank accounts. However, they concede that a supranational CBDC with multi-currency operability and an openness to payment objects that are not system-specific, may be a worthwhile response to monopolistic or oligopolistic global retail payment networks such as PayPal. [Read more]

BOJ on track for digital currency roll-out

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reportedly still on track for the roll-out of its JAM-DEX central bank digital currency (CBDC) during the first quarter of 2022. The remaining steps include the passage of amendments to the Bank of Jamaica Act to make CBDC legal tender and the BOJ the sole issuer, and increasing the number of deposit-taking institutions onboarding clients. Also, launch awaits an independent third-party quality assurance assessment of the system, the results of which will be made public. [Read more]

New European Commission Data Act aims for more control over smart contracts

The European Commission has released its proposal for the union’s new Data Act. Among other things, it would mandate that applications using smart contracts include “internal functions which can reset or instruct the contract to stop or interrupt the operation to avoid future (accidental) executions.” Fears are being expressed that such “kill switches” could threaten the promise of immutability because, with the ability of a single source to make a change, the contract is no longer autonomous. [Read more]