The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC) tracker that focuses on civil liberties and human rights impacts, particularly of people living under authoritarian regimes. According to tracker, central banks in 119 countries are researching, piloting, or deploying CBDCs, and the HRF estimates that 46% of the world population are living under autocracies currently experimenting with CBDCs. The coverage is similar to that provided by the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker, and similarly “double” counts currency zone countries to pump up the numbers, which the crowd-sourced CBDCTracker.org does not do. [Read more at the HRF CBDC Tracker website]
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) unveiled three initiatives to ensure the safe and innovative use of digital money in Singapore. First there is the Orchid Blueprint that sets out the technology and infrastructure building blocks that would be required to facilitate digital money transactions in the future. Second, there will be four new Project Orchid digital money trials, including testing the broad applicability of purpose bound money, which enables money to be directed towards a specific purpose, without requiring money itself to be programmed. And third, “live” wholesale CBDC will be tested, with the first pilot focusing on settling retail payments between commercial banks, and future pilots possibly focusing on settling cross-border securities trades. The Orchid Blueprint will support single-currency stablecoins that will be regulated for their value stability under MAS’ proposed regulatory framework for stablecoin activities. The Blueprint will also support tokenized bank deposits issued by MAS-regulated banks. [Read more at the MAS]
Jonas Gross and Conrad Kraft argue that, although the slow uptake of retail CBDC pilots and launches may be viewed as disappointing by some, it isn’t uncommon among transformative payment technologies (e.g., credit cards, online banking and e-wallets). They provide a number of key factors that can guide the gradual transition to wider-spread CBDC adoption, such as education and awareness, maintaining a focus on technological advancements and security, developing regulations that support CBDC growth, and collaborating with all stakeholders, including merchants, banks and payment service providers. And most importantly, “CBDC must offer unique features that surpass the capabilities of existing payment instruments… A CBDC that merely replicates current digital money, differing only in its central bank backing (largely imperceptible to potential users), won’t attract widespread use.” [Read more at CoinDesk]
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]