Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220324)

Ukraine Digital Currency Is Progressing During Wartime: Stellar CEO

Stellar CEO Denelle Dixon has said that her company is still working with Bitt on Tascombank’s digital hryvnia¬† project despite the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The last significant update on the project was published in December 2021, when it was stated that they would utilize Stellar to pilot a digital version of the Ukrainian hryvnia. To be clear, this is not a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. The only connection with the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is that is being conducted under the supervision of the central bank. [Read more]

The last official update on the CBDC project was in July 2021 when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a new payment services law, officially enabling the NBU to issue a digital hryvnia. The law also authorized the NBU to set up regulatory sandboxes for testing payment services and instruments based on emerging technologies. Prior to that, in June 2019, the NBU published the results on its CBDC proof-of-concept work. [Read more]

Central banks, the monetary system and public payment infrastructures: lessons from Brazil’s Pix

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a paper on Brazil’s recent experience with the Pix retail instant payment system. Since launching in November 2020, Pix has signed up 67% of adults in Brazil, with free payments between individuals and low charges for merchants. The two key ingredients in the success of Pix are, first, the mandatory participation of large banks to kick-start network effects for users, and second, the central bank’s dual role as infrastructure provider and rule setter. Pix has also shown how central bank infrastructures can support interoperability and competition, promoting lower costs and greater financial inclusion. These features also have relevance for the possible adoption of retail CBDC. [Read more]