Federal Reserve announces July launch for the FedNow Service
The US Federal Reserve (FRB) announced that the FedNow Service will start operating in July 2023 and provided details on preparations for launch. FedNow will facilitate around the clock nationwide reach of instant payment services by US depository institutions — regardless of size or geographic location. Businesses and individuals will be able to send and receive instant payments at any time of day, and recipients will have full access to funds immediately, giving them greater flexibility to manage their money and make time-sensitive payments. [Read more at the FRB]
From the FedNow FAQ: “As with current Federal Reserve Bank services, the FedNow Service will be available to depository institutions eligible to hold accounts at the Reserve Banks under applicable federal statutes and Federal Reserve rules, policies, and procedures. Participants will be able to designate a service provider or agent to submit or receive payment instructions on their behalf. Participants will also be able to settle payments in the account of a correspondent, if they choose to do so. Merchants, consumers, or non-bank payment service providers can access the service through depository institutions as they do today with other payment systems. [Read more at the FRB]
In Ukraine, crypto finds a purpose
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Stellar Development Foundation, USDC stablecoin issuer Circle, and cross-border money transfer company MoneyGram have rigged up a system for sending aid directly to Ukrainian refugees using crypto-assets. The UNHCR delivers USDC hosted on the Stellar network, to a digital wallet that can be accessed via smartphone, even to people without bank accounts. The recipient then exchanges their USDC for local currency at any MoneyGram facility. Because the USDC is hosted on decentralized infrastructure and in the custody of individual wallet owners, funds cannot be withheld. [Read more at WIRED]
The cash-use cycle in Australia
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) published a paper on Australians’ cash usage. It finds that the use of cash for day-to-day transactions continues to decline. Although the acceptance of cash by merchants remains at a high level, it is a little lower than prior to the pandemic. Nevertheless, some communities, particularly in rural areas, are increasingly susceptible to a decline in cash access if there were to be further removal of cash access points. Furthermore, many merchants indicated plans to discourage cash payments at some point in the future. [Read more at the RBA]
Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:
- I’ll be on a “public finance and the digital future” panel at the March 23-25 Willamette College of Law “Our Money, Our Future” (Hybrid) Conference in Salem, Oregon on March 24. [Register here]
- I’ll be moderating the “CBDCs, Stablecoins, Commercial Bank Money Tokens – What is the Future of Money?” panel discussion at the Digital Euro Association (DEA) Digital Euro Conference on March 31 in Frankfurt. [Register with this link and the DECKIFFMEISTER20 code and get a 20% discount]
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (email@example.com).
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]