Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230113)

E-CNY app adds payment function for when mobiles are offline, out of power

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has added a new function to its e-CNY payment app so that select Android-based mobile phones can be still be used to make tap-to-pay payments without internet connection or power. Users need to activate the function in the e-yuan app, and can choose how many times it can be used and how much can be paid after their phone shuts down. To allay security concerns, A verification code must be entered into the device if set payment and transaction limits are exceeded. Additionally, users can suspend the function by logging into the e-yuan app from another device. It apparently uses near-field Communications (NFC) technology, and payment amounts are limited to ten transactions of up to RMB 500 ($75). [Read more at Yicai Global].

Market research on possible technical solutions for a digital euro

As announced in December 2022, the European Central Bank (ECB) is inviting market participants to take part in market research to get an overview of options for the technical design of possible digital euro components and services. Participation is voluntary and will not have any impact on eligibility for future procurement procedures related to a digital euro or any other topic. Nor will it imply any pre-selection for a potential subsequent tender. Submissions are due by February 17, 2023 in a fully anonymous manner, avoiding trade names. [Read more at the ECB]

Addressing the risks in crypto: laying out the options

A Bank of International Settlements (BIS) paper suggests that authorities can take three different approaches when it comes to crypto-assets; targeted regulation, containment (“let crypto burn”), or  a complete ban. Central banks and public authorities could also work to make traditional finance (TradFi) more attractive. A key option is to encourage sound innovation with central bank digital currency (CBDC). [Read more at the BIS]

Mobile money activity rates: Exploring barriers to regular use

The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) is exploring of low mobile money activity rates. Despite high sign-up rates, only 26% of accounts are active on a monthly basis, while 38% are active on a 90-day basis. Findings from the annual GSMA Consumer Survey run in ten countries in 2021 shed light on perceived reasons for low activity. The main barriers were found to be a preference for cash, lacking sufficient funds for mobile money to be useful and not needing mobile money due to alternative electronic financial services. Other important barriers include users having a limited ability in using a phone, and mobile money transaction costs being too high. [Read more at the GSMA]

2nd Edition of DC³ Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will hold (virtually) the second edition of its DC3 Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)​ from January 24 to 27 2023. On January 27 I will be moderating two panels on offline central bank digital currency (CBDC). Also, on January 24, Jacques Francouer and I will be providing an update to our ITU Digital Currency Global Initiative digital currency ontology work. [For more event detail go to the ITU DC3 conference site]

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 Sovereign Official Digital Association (SODA) is a technology-agnostic firm offering advisory services at the intersection of central banking, digital finance and the web3 industry, aiming to make public digital money a reality. SODA believes institutions in the existing financial ecosystem should have access to the tools and resources they need to move from discussion to action. SODA offers ‘real life’ use cases to help test digital money and drive adoption as central banks and other public institutions explore the future of a more financially inclusive world powered by interoperable blockchain-based networks. SODA would love you to join us on this journey – please get in touch (chris@sodapublicmoney.org).

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]