Hungary takes a novel approach to blockchain testing
Magyar Nemzeti Bank has collaborated with the Sovereign Official Digital Association (SODA) to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a private blockchain. By successfully participating in financial literacy quizzes, Hungarian coin collectors and NFT enthusiasts are being awarded central bank-issued tokens and then swapping and trading them on the Money Museum mobile application. This is part of a contest to win a set of limited edition commemorative coins. As any member of the public can use the blockchain to collect, swap and register their ownership of the coins, this type of activity – though gamified – this is arguably a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot. [Read more at OMFIF]
Zimbabwe central bank sets price to sell gold-backed digital tokens
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will start selling its gold-backed digital currency on May 8, 2023. Applications must be for a minimum of US$10 and US$5,000 for individuals and corporates and other entities, respectively, in U.S. dollars and local currency. The US dollar price will be “informed or guided” by the international gold price as determined by the London Bullion Market Association PM fix. Payment in local currency will be at a 20% margin above the willing-buyer willing-seller interbank mid-rate. Applications will close on May 10, 2023. [Read more at the RBZ]
Brazil’s central bank releases the directives of the digital real technical testing
The Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) published the details of its digital real central bank digital currency (CBDC) technical testing. It will involve no real transactions (so it isn’t a pilot). Its aim is to validate the use of a DLT solution on the Hyperledger Besu platform, evaluating programmability and the ability to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, mainly related to privacy, as well as its technological viability. The details include the criteria for selecting the ten participating institutions. [Read more at the BCB]
Reserve Bank of India and Bank for International Settlements launch G20 TechSprint 2023
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) have launched the fourth edition of the G20 TechSprint, a global technology competition to promote innovative solutions aimed at improving cross-border payments. Developers from around the world should submit application from May 04, 2023 to June 04, 2023 and the TechSprint will conclude around August/ September 2023. The 2023 TechSprint will focus on AML/CFT/Sanctions technology solutions to reduce illicit finance risk, FX and liquidity technology solutions to enable settlement in emerging market and developing economy (EMDE) currencies, and technology solutions for multilateral cross-border CBDC platforms. [Read more and apply at the RBI]
Navigating Bankruptcy in Digital Asset Markets
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published the second of two papers that examines how digital assets may be held by customers through intermediaries and considers how those assets can be protected following an insolvency of the intermediary, with a specific focus on English and US law.
The first paper focused on the enforceability of netting arrangements, finding that it depends on the counterparty’s local insolvency law, which may exclude or omit digital assets from its scope of application. On collateral posting, it is likely that most (if not all) developed jurisdictions will recognize digital assets as property that is protected under local law. However, the precise nature and extent of any rights associated with that property interest, the strength of legal certainty and certain technical issues, will vary based on the applicable jurisdiction(s). [Read more at ISDA]
The second paper, concluded that traditional and fundamental protections of clear legal terms and segregation of assets can be adapted to the world of digital assets. It recommended that rules governing the ownership of customer digital assets following insolvency of an intermediary should be made as clear as possible. Achieving greater clarity in the application of these rules will ensure that customers are given equivalent rights and protections to what they would expect for traditional assets or financial products. [Read more at ISDA]
Nearly half of Americans think their money isn’t safe in a bank
According to a poll released on May 4, 2023 by Gallup, 48% of U.S. adults are concerned with their money, broken down into 19% who are “very” worried and 29% who are “moderately” worried, despite the fact that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits up to $250,000 per borrower, per bank. On the other hand, 30% selected “not too worried” and 20% are “not worried at all.” The poll was conducted between April 3 and April 25 following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March. [Read more at Fast Company]
Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:
- 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]
- I’ll be participating in Currency Research’s in-person Central Bank Payments Conference and Global Payments Summit in Cape Town from June 26 to 30. [Register here and here respectively]
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]