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]
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]
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]
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: https://www.diigo.com/user/kiffmeister/ART.
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