Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20221105)

A Multi-Currency Exchange and Contracting Platform

The IMF published a working paper that presents a vision for a multilateral platform that could improve cross-border payments, as well as related FX transactions, risk sharing, and more generally, financial contracting. It proposes a design that centralizes payments and settlement and that integrates functionality needed for cross-border transactions: streamlining compliance, reducing the cost of FX conversion, and better managing financial risks. The paper also shows how new technologies can be leveraged to better organize payments and associated financial markets. These new technologies are ledgers with unique states, programmability that allows for smart contracts, and encryption which ensures privacy, and can alleviate the underlying obstacles to trade. These technologies allow the design of a multilateral exchange system where participants can truthfully share information with smart contracts but can retain privacy relative to other parties. [Read more at IMF.org]

Payments, money and finance in the digital era (Part 1 and Part 2)

Two recent papers by Christian Pfister examine the state of play and short- to long-term prospects for payments, money and finance in the digital era. The first paper focuses on short- to medium term developments, and two forms of public sector, intervention; regulatory and production-based. He argues that the regulatory approach should be considered against the potential costs, like the creation of barriers to entry and protection of established players, which makes it ambiguous from the point of view of competition. Production-based intervention, such as the introduction of central bank digital currency (CBDC), aiming to provide an alternative to private supply is much stronger than regulation, and has its own ambiguities. Hence, before intervening, the public authority should ensure that private initiatives are unable to meet a clearly expressed need (i.e., there must be a “market failure”), and the benefits outweigh any disadvantages. The second paper, which focuses on longer-term issues, recommends that if a CBDC were to be issued, it should be aimed to stimulate innovation and not lead, even inadvertently, to the marginalization of the private sector.

The second paper concludes with a set of recommendations, including that the central bank should continue to issue banknotes, but in order to discourage their illicit use, gradually withdraw the high-denominations. Also, if retail CBDC is issued, it should allow offline transactions. Also there should be a threshold of anonymity for very small-value transactions to facilitate its substitution for cash without facilitating illicit transactions. Above this threshold, allow transactions under pseudonyms, with the possibility for the judicial authorities to request the lifting of pseudonymity, and limit the collection of personal information to what is necessary for reporting entities to fulfil their regulatory obligations. Christian recommends not limiting individual CBDC holdings, except for a transitional period, and remunerating at an interest rate linked by a fixed spread under the monetary policy rate. In addition, he recommends the issuance of wholesale CBDC on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, and allow, but not force, payment service providers, including regulated issuers of retail stablecoins, to back their issuance with them. [Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here]

HSBC to launch Orion blockchain bond tokenization platform

HSBC is reportedly launching a distributed ledger technology (DLT) based bond tokenization platform. The European Investment Bank is currently exploring the possibility of issuing the market’s first-ever GBP tokenized bond, for registration and issuance under Luxembourg law, using HSBC Orion. [Read more at FFNews.com]

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.

The CBDC Think Tank is a New York-based technology- and vendor-agnostic digital currency knowledge-sharing hub for staff of central banks, international financial institutions (IFIs) and non-government organizations (NGOs). It runs webinars, workshops, and masterclasses to disseminate knowledge and facilitate communication. It also engages in advisory work, focusing on delivering impact that best aligns with the needs of its clients and the forward progress of human civilization. The CBDC Think Tank welcomes requests from central bank officials for CBDC advisory services.  [click here for more information].

Satoshi Capital Advisors is a New York-based, global advisory firm that works with central banks, governments, and the private sector to architect, implement, and operate varying initiatives. Satoshi Capital Advisors’ central bank work revolves around CBDC architecture and implementation, providing advisory services from research phase through to growth phase. Utilizing a product-market fit and technology agnostic approach to CBDC architecture and implementation enables Satoshi Capital Advisors to build tailored solutions, bespoke to local financial system nuances. Satoshi Capital Advisors welcomes requests from central bank officials for virtual and in-person CBDC workshops. [Click here for more information]

WhisperCash offers the first fully offline digital currency platform that has the same properties as physical cash. It can perform secure consecutive offline payments without compromising on security, privacy or accessibility. WhisperCash allows direct person to person offline payments without any server infrastructure or internet connectivity. It comes in various form factors including the self-contained credit card-sized “Pro” that sports an eInk screen and capacitive keyboard, and lasts for two weeks between recharges assuming a few transactions per day. [Click here for more information]