Funds from the ePidtrymka program can now be spent on any products or goods
Back in December 2021, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation launched its ePidtrymka digital payment system to distribute COVID-related stimulus funds to fully-vaccinated Ukraine citizens who are over 18. The card is issued free of charge both online and offline at participating bank branches. The money can be spent on books, gyms, tickets to the cinema, theater, museums, concerts or transportation in the Ukraine, but money had to be used within four months, after which the account is closed. [Hence this is a form of Gesell money as described by Celo’s Zeke Copic in a recent paper.] The cards are not reloadable, so they’re more like gift cards. However, a few weeks ago the usage restrictions were dropped, and card-to-card transfers were allowed. [Read more]
You Lost Your Electronic Cash? Tough Luck.
If you want to have a central bank digital currency that is a form of electronic cash, that is value that can be transferred from person to person (or, more accurately, from device to device) without online access to some central database or blockchain or whatever else, then you have the obvious problem that if the device containing the electronic cash is lost or destroyed then the value is lost or destroyed with it. But is this actually a problem? I mean, should we try to design a digital currency so that it can be recovered? Maybe it is better if it can be lost. [Read more]
This Deloitte paper advocates for combining the best attributes of crypto-asset technology with the features of an established fiat currency under the sponsorship of a central bank? However, to me it sounds like they’re describing a central bank-issued fiat-pegged stablecoin running on a private permissioned distributed ledger technology-based network. Am I missing something, because this just sounds like a fairly generic central bank digital currency? [Read more]