The Pheu Thai Party, the leader of Thailand’s new coalition party, plans to follow through on its policy for a 10,000 baht giveaway to every person aged 16 or older in early 2024. The economic stimulus will be in the form of a digital “utility token” based on blockchain and using a digital wallet. Usage will be restricted to within 4 kilometers of the holder’s home, and they can only be spent .on certain things such as food, water and medicine. They cannot use it online, nor can it be exchanged for cash, and will expire after six months. [Read more at Ledger Insights]
Growing numbers of Indian commercial banks have gone live with Unified Payments Interface (UPI) interoperability on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) digital rupee central bank digital currency (CBDC) rupee app. With this move, the bank’s customers will be able to scan any UPI QR code through the banks’ digital rupee apps and pay for transactions. The UPI is the national payment portal operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a division of the RBI. The NPCI provides the infrastructure for both the UPI and the digital rupee. [Read more at CNBCTV]
Mu Changchun, the head of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Digital Currency Research Institute, said that the digital yuan must be available for all retail scenarios, with standard QR codes being one of the first steps. He also wants to see wholesale payment systems becoming interoperable with the central bank digital currency (CBDC), and he envisions the digital yuan and smart contracts being used for securities transactions, enabling settlement on a delivery versus payment (DvP) or payment versus payment (PvP) basis. [Read the speech at EastMoney.com]
The GSMA published its 2023 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, showing the growth and the potential of mobile money networks in a post-pandemic world. Africa, and particularly Sub-Sahara Africa, continues to drive that growth. In 2022, registered mobile money accounts rose from 1.4 billion in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2022, and transaction values grew from $1 trillion to around $1.26 trillion. Bill payments (largely energy bills) via mobile money grew faster than all other use cases, making it the third most common transaction after P2P transfers and combined cash-in/cash-out transactions. [Read more at the GSMA]
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the winners of the G20 TechSprint 2023 challenge. From the short list of 21 teams three winners for three problem statements were chosen [Read more at the BIS] :
- Team Secretarium Ltd. from the UK won the category for problem statement #1, on fighting money laundering, combating financing of terrorism, tax and sanctions evasion, with their solution on transaction monitoring and protecting anonymity and privacy using secure privacy technology.
- Team Millicent Labs from the UK won the category for problem statement #2, on improving liquidity in cross-border payments between emerging and developing countries’ currencies, with their hybrid decentralised exchange for CBDCs, which features automated market makers and traditional order books, to optimise liquidity and reduce volatility risk.
- Team Knox Networks from the US won the category for problem statement #3 on developing multilateral cross-border CBDC platforms, with their multilateral CBDC solution based on File-Based Digital Assets (FBDAs).
*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.
Kiffmeister’s central bank digital currency monthly monitor
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