Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230901)*

SEC delays spot Bitcoin ETF decision for all applicants including BlackRock, Fidelity

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed until October making a decision on all of the spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications filed by applicants including BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Wise Origin, VanEck, Bitwise and Valkyrie Digital Assets earlier this year. The SEC has a total of 240 days from when it first begins its review of the applications to make a final decision to approve or deny. SEC staff have traditionally used every possible comment and review period to delay making final decisions until those 240 days have elapsed. [Read more on the SEC website, making sure to focus on the August 31, 2023 updates]

RBI to add support for NFC to India’s UPI Lite digital wallet service

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will add support for near-field communications (NFC) payments to the country’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) Lite digital wallet, enabling users to conduct transactions on their smartphone when there is no internet or mobile connection. The RBI is adding the option to the stored value wallet, launched in September 2022, to “optimize processing resources for banks, thereby reducing transaction failures”. [Read more at the RBI]

Tether’s stablecoin USDT ‘has a peg stability problem’, claims Kaiko analyst

USDT has a peg stability problem compared to other stablecoins. Its redemption fee and minimum means it’s often rational for USDT holders to sell the token on the market rather than redeem it for USD with Tether. As liquidity has dwindled, the market is no longer able to absorb significant USDT selling. Tether charges a 0.1% fee for fiat withdrawals over $1,000, meaning that USDT is redeemable at $0.99, with the minimum fiat withdrawal or deposit set at $100,000. Another catch is that users have to pay a non-refundable amount of $150 for “verification,” which, according to Tether, “is intended to ensure that only those who are serious about establishing an account apply.” [Read more at Decrypt

Enabling offline payment scalability

Lipis Advisors in partnership with Crunchfish released the fifth white paper in the “enabling offline payments in an online world” series. The new paper focuses on scalability, pointing out that the choice of hardware or software-based offline trusted environment can greatly impact the scalability features of offline payment systems. Software-based trusted environments are generally more scalable, because they don’t require the distribution of physical components and may be updated more easily. However, in low-income countries where most potential users can’t afford devices that support software-based trusted environments (i.e., smartphones), some combination of hardware- and software-based trusted environments should be implemented to ensure true scalability. [Read more at Crunchfish]

*For those interested in intra-day updates, check out my searchable Diigo Fintech developments database, which is also a good place to go to query for past developments:

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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]