The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reportedly provided an update on its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot that started in the wholesale segment in November 2022, followed by a pilot in the retail segment in December. The trial has been rolled out to approximately 1.5 million users, and is is being operated through 13 banks in 26 cities, and over 300,000 merchants as of end-August 2023. The RBI has enabled full interoperability with Unified Payments Interface (UPI) QR codes. Moreover, the RBI is likely to launch a CBDC pilot for transactions for interbank borrowing or call money market by October 2023. [Read more at Bitcoin.com]
“Proponents of a digital euro are facing political opposition to their plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) – and technocratic central bankers aren’t sure how to respond… That opposition can start with legitimate concerns over privacy and the limits of government power – but can also venture into conspiracy theories that paint CBDCs as part of a much wider, orchestrated program of state control. ‘We can assure people you are not traced and we can prove it with audits and whatever, but if outside of the system people start talking about this and convincing each other on social media … then that is a big blow.”'” [Read more on CoinDesk]
Global Government Fintech published an interview with Magyar Nemzeti Bank’s (MNB’s) Anikó Szombati on the central bank’s financial innovation agenda. She made particular mention of the MNB’s private blockchain-based non-fungible token (NFT) issuance and the associated mobile application platform. The first series of NFTs were based on six collector versions of a five forint coin. Users obtain the NFTs by solving quizzes. By collecting NFTs containing all six letters of the word ‘forint’, users were able to participate in a prize game in which they could win special physical coin sets. The MNB is now working with SODA (Sovereign Official Digital Association) on a bridging operation between the current private blockchain and a public blockchain. [Read more at Global Government Fintech]
*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
Just a reminder that I produce a monthly digest of central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments exclusively for the official sector. So (only) if you work at a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution (e.g., the BIS, IMF, OECD, World Bank) and 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]