Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230511)

BIS publishes handbook for offline payments with CBDC

The BIS Innovation Hub published a handbook on offline central bank digital currency (CBDC). It covers the complex matrix of issues including security, privacy, likely risks, the types of solution, their maturity and applicability, and operational factors, as well as objectives for resilience, inclusion, cash resemblance, accessibility and other desired attributes. The degree to which CBDCs will be provided or used offline will vary significantly by country, region, demographics and specific contexts, which will also influence the solutions chosen. [Read more at the BIS]

Enabling offline payments in an online world: privacy considerations

Lipis Advisors published a paper that explores potential enhanced privacy benefits of offline payment functionality. One key takeaway is that it is important that payment system operators consider how other facets of the system design (e.g., security, interoperability) interact with privacy and how these different aspects should be prioritized. [Download the paper at Lipis Advisors]

IMF cautions Zimbabwe against plan for gold-backed digital currency

The IMF has reportedly called on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to carefully consider the benefits of issuing a gold-backed digital currency versus the potential macroeconomic, financial stability, governance, legal and operational risks, plus the cost of forgone FX reserves. The IMF urged country authorities to rather use conventional measures to address economic challenges, such as maintaining a tight monetary-policy stance and accelerating the liberalization of the foreign-currency market. [Read more at Bloomberg]

Hungarian central bank sees no imminent need for e-forint

Hungary reportedly sees no urgent need for a widely available retail CBDC but it is exploring possibilities via a series of pilots, and would like to remain in the forefront of CBDC research. [CoinDesk] For example, Magyar Nemzeti Bank has collaborated with the Sovereign Official Digital Association (SODA) to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a private blockchain. [Read more at OMFIF]

China launches national blockchain center to train half a million specialists

China’s National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center officially started its work, collaborating with local universities, think tanks and blockchain businesses to develop blockchain technology in China. It will reportedly train more than 500,000 specialists in distributed ledger technology (DLT). The center’s mission is to connect various blockchain use cases in the country into a single cohesive network. [Read more at Coin Telegraph]

Tether Boosts T-Bill Holdings, Cuts Banks Exposure

Tether, the issuer of the USDT stablecoin, cut its exposure to cash and bank deposits in Q1 2023, shifting into US Treasury Bills and leveraging the reverse repo market. As of March 31, 2023, Tether held $81.8 billion assets (versus $79.4 billion USDT issued) of which $68.8 billion (84% of assets) was held in the form of US Treasury Bills, reverse repo agreements, and money market funds. The remaining $13.0 billion was held in the form of secured loans to unaffiliated entities ($5.4 billion), gold ($3.4 billion), Bitcoin ($1.5 billion) and commercial bank deposits ($0.5 billion), and “other” investments ($2.2 billion). [Read more at Tether]

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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

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 (

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]