Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230130)

I’ve updated my tabulation of the 92 central banks that have issued, piloted, experimented with and/or researched retail central bank digital currency (CBDC). [See it here]

Tailored CBDC technical assistance in emerging markets: a critical gap in the pursuit of reaching the SDGs

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) published a stocktaking paper that I co-authored on the degrees of CBDC technical assistance (TA) support for lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  It highlights the different options for CBDC support for LMIC authorities in their general-purpose/retail and wholesale CBDC exploration journeys. It also shows how demand outstrips supply in fit-for- purpose assistance and the important role of development partners in closing this gap in order to ensure that CBDCs can meet the expectations in relation to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Also the paper highlights the remaining gaps in optimally equipping authorities in LMICs in their CBDC pursuit. [Read more at]

Montenegro starting work on a central bank- or government-issued stablecoin

Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, announced that, in collaboration with Ripple and the central bank, the government is starting work on a digital currency or stablecoin for Montenegro. Montenegro uses the EUR, despite not being a member of the Eurozone, although it is a candidate country for European Union (EU) membership. Is this a CBDC? Palau is working on something similar to this but Palau doesn’t have a central bank so giving it the thumbs down seems logical. However, even though what they propose is very similar to Palau’s concept, Montenegro does have a central bank and the stablecoin will be presumably backed and issued by the central bank, and denominated in the country’s unit of account. What do others think. Is this a CBDC project? [Read more on Twitter]

UPI – The golden child of payments in India

Arthur Bedel provides a nice explainer on the National Payments Corporation Of India (NPCI) Unified Payment Interface (UPI), the fastest growing payment system in the world. The UPI allows users to transfer money between bank accounts across a single window. It’s a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile app. This means you can send or receive money or scan a QR code to pay an individual, a merchant or a service provider to shop, pay bills or authorize payments. It was launched in 2016, to reduce the use of cash in the India. The NPCI is governed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and its primary goal is to drive India towards becoming a digital economy. [Read more on LinkedIn]

Data shows 50% of bitcoin hashrate controlled by two mining pools

Bitcoin hashrate is becoming highly centralized, with a few mining pools controlling most of the blockchain mining power. The latest data from Mempool indicates that over 50% of the total hashrate is held by Foundry USA and Antpool. The graph below shows that over 80% of Bitcoin’s mining power is concentrated among just 5 pools. This contrasts with the beginning of 2022, when these five mining pools barely exceeded 60% of the hashrate. This poses significant dangers to the cryptocurrency, because the miners could agree to reject transactions that do not meet a specific parameter leading to a 51% attack. [Read more at Bitcoinist]  [Use pie chart!]

Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:

  • I’ll be speaking at SettleMint’s “central banks leading the way in the decentralized world” webinar on February 1 at 17:00 GST. [Register here]
  • I’ll be moderating a panel on “what happens when the lights go out…different schemes for offline functionality” at the in-person Digital Currency Conference (DCC) in Mexico City on May 18. [Register here]

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

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