Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220809)

Retail Central Bank Digital Currency: Current Landscape

I often get asked to share what I know about which central banks are doing what in the retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) space, so I’ve posted an abbreviated version of my retail CBDC presentation slides here.

Reserve Bank of Australia to Explore Use Cases for CBDC

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has launched a research project to explore use cases for a CBDC in Australia. It is expected to take about a year to complete, and will involve the development of a limited-scale CBDC pilot that will operate in a ring-fenced environment for a period of time. Interested industry participants will be invited to develop specific use cases that demonstrate how a CBDC could be used to provide innovative and value-added payment and settlement services to households and businesses. The Bank and the DFCRC will then select a range of different use cases to participate in the pilot, based on their potential to provide insights into the possible benefits of a CBDC. [Read more at the RBA]

Chainalysis says $2 billion stolen in cross-chain bridge hacks this year, more expected

Chainalysis says cross-chain bridges that allow transfer of assets between independent blockchains are among the highest risk protocols in the blockchain industry for scams and bad actors. Chainalysis in a new report estimates that $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen from cross-chain bridges across 13 attacks so far this year, accounting for 69% of all stolen funds during that time. Cross-chain bridges were once considered the solution to interoperability between blockchains in the crypto industry, but as the protocols continue to seem vulnerable to hacks and attacks that view is beginning to change. [Read more at Chainalysis]

U.S. Treasury Sanctions Virtual Currency Mixer Tornado Cash

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Tornado Cash, a crypto-asset mixer that mixes potentially identifiable or “tainted” cryptocurrency funds with others, so as to obscure the trail back to the fund’s original source. OFAC claims that Tornado Cash has been used to launder more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019. The sanctions mean U.S. crypto investors can no longer use Tornado Cash. 38 ETH addresses and 6 USDC addresses were added to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, reportedly froze over $75,000 worth of USDC funds linked to those 6 USDC addresses. Several leading figures in the crypto industry expressed their concerns about the sanctions. [Read more at Finance Magnates]

Survey on potential CBDC use cases in the Asia-Pacific region

Deborah Healey and Heng Wang of the University of New South Wales have launched a study of the impact of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) on stakeholders and consumers across the Asia-Pacific region. In that regard they are inviting such stakeholders and consumers in the region to take part in a survey on the potential uses of retail CBDC in Asia. The survey should take 12-15 minutes to complete and will be active until midnight August 24, 2022 (AEST). Responses will be anonymous and not attributed to users or their organizations. If you have any questions, would like an invitation to the launch and a copy of the final report please email d.healey@unsw.edu.au. Also, please feel free to share this request with others in the region. [Click here to take the survey]

Kiffmeister’s Global Central Bank Digital Currency Monthly Monitor

Just a reminder that I produce a monthly digest of central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments exclusively for the official sector. So for any of you out there who work for a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution who would like to receive it by email on the first business day of every month, please DM me on LinkedIn or email me at chronicles@kiffmeister.com.

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  [Register here]

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with Georgetown University and the DC FinTech Week, is hosting a Digital Currency Lecture Series, a set of digital currency lightning talks delivered by subject matter experts, on October 14 in Washington DC. [Request an invite here]