The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) kicked off a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot involving second tier banks and their clients. The architecture of the platform allows the use of digital tenge by opening a digital account in the mobile application of the banks, between which users can make payments and money transfers. Also, Almaty city administration will distribute automated social support payments using smart contract technology. Also, participating banks have issued digital cards in cooperation with international payment systems like MasterCard and Visa, so that . holders can make digital tenge payments and transfers with familiar form factors. [Read more at the NBK]
The IMF launched its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Virtual Handbook, a reference guide for policymakers and experts at central banks and ministries of finance. It also serves as the basis for the IMF’s engagement with country authorities and other stakeholders. The CBDC Handbook aims to collect and share knowledge, lessons, empirical findings, and frameworks to address policymakers’ most frequently asked questions on CBDCs. As the IMF’s body of knowledge and analysis grows, it will continue to add about five chapters every year aiming to provide about twenty chapters by 2026. Moreover, chapters will be periodically updated, reflecting evolving views. [Read more at the IMF]
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will commence a new series of asset tokenization pilots in collaboration with 17 international banks. The initiative is an extension to MAS’ Project Guardian, in which the central bank collaborated with 15 financial institutions to carry out industry pilots on asset tokenization in fixed income, foreign exchange, and asset management products. The five new pilot projects explore a new set of use cases including listing, distribution, trading, settlement, and asset servicing. Additionally, MAS is collaborating with international policymakers and financial institutions to create an open digital infrastructure called Global Layer One (GL1) to facilitate seamless cross-border transactions and enable trading of tokenized assets across global liquidity pools while adhering to regulatory requirements. Furthermore, MAS is working with the financial industry to develop an Interlinked Network Model (INM) as a common framework for exchanging digital assets across independent networks, enabling transactions among financial institutions without the need for all to be on the same network. [Read more at MAS]
Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas and DTCC joined Fnality’s £77.7 million Series B funding round. Formerly called Utility Settlement Coin, Fnality plans to offer a wholesale payment and settlement platform using stablecoins backed by deposits at central banks. So far it’s operational only in the U.K., where banks can transfer money from their Bank of England accounts to the Fnality UK central bank account where it’s tokenized. Because the money is tokenized it enables instant atomic securities transaction settlement. One of the intended use cases is cross currency payments, but that will need the cooperation of other central banks, which has been slow in coming. [Read more at Fnality]
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Ant International have partnered to promote efficient and secure cross-border mobile payments via QR code. The partnership, signed at the Singapore Fintech Festival, will enable users of Alipay+ payment partners to easily make payments at any KHQR merchants across Cambodia, and vice versa. KHQR, launched by the NBC in 2022, is a QR code-based payment solution designed to facilitate retail payments within Cambodia and cross-border transactions within ASEAN. [Read more at Fintech Singapore]
FYI here are some of my upcoming speaking engagements:
– Currency Research Americas Cash Cycle & Payments Seminar (Orlando Florida on November 27-30)[Register here]
– Digital Euro Conference 2024 (Frankfurt on February 29)[Register here]
*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]