Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20221201)

ECB: The end is nigh for Bitcoin, “rarely used for legal transactions”

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a blog post that predicts the demise of Bitcoin. Authored by Ulrich Bindseil and Jürgen Schaaf, entitled “Bitcoin’s Last Stand,” the article claims that Bitcoin is in its “last gasp before the road to irrelevance.” Noting that Bitcoin is rarely used real-world transactions, the authors hammer Bitcoin as “cumbersome, slow and expensive,” adding that “the market valuation of Bitcoin is therefore based purely on speculation.” It sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed! [Read more at the ECB]

Ensuring adoption of central bank digital currencies – An easy task or a Gordian knot?

The ECB published a paper that surveys the key elements involved in the adoption of new means of payment and discusses failed and ongoing initiatives with public digital money. It concludes that ensuring the desired level of adoption of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) may impose significant constraints on central bank design choices and policy goals. In fact, in some settings, central banks may find themselves on the horns of a dilemma in seeking to balance the needs to (i) preserve the central bank’s hierarchy of policy goals, (ii) increase the chances of adoption and use of CBDCs by consumers and retailers, and (iii) avoid adverse economic effects. [Read more at the ECB]

The 3rd CCAF global Fintech regulator survey

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance {CCAF} published its third global fintech regulator survey. It aims to understand the extent to which policymakers continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as we move away from the crisis. The survey provides insights into the types of consumer risks that have emerged because of the pandemic and the impact of such risks on policy objectives. It also explores the important role of IT systems and infrastructures in supporting oversight and supervision across fintech verticals. [Read more at the CCAF]

Kiffmeister’s Global 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 for any of you out there who work for a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution 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 chronicles@kiffmeister.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20221127)

Hedging sanctions risk: Cryptocurrency in central bank reserves

A paper by the Harvard University’s Matthew Ferranti explores the potential for Bitcoin to serve as an alternative central bank reserve currency asset to ex-ante hedge against the risk of financial sanctions. It uses a dynamic Bayesian copula model to simulate the joint returns of Bitcoin and other reserve assets under a wide range of plausible sanctions probabilities. Assuming mean-variance preferences, a modest risk of sanctions significantly increases optimal gold and Bitcoin allocations. If a central bank cannot acquire sufficient physical gold to hedge its sanctions risk, the optimal Bitcoin share rises further, suggesting that gold and Bitcoin are imperfect substitutes. It concludes that sanctions risk may diminish the appeal of US Treasuries, propel broader diversification in central bank reserves, and bolster the long-run fundamental value of both cryptocurrency and gold. [Download the paper on Matthew Ferranti’s website]

How crypto goes to zero

A recent Economist article goes through the most likely path towards zero crypto – basically ending at the point where no one is using it. It rejects the attack-and-shut-down the major crypto-assets because that would essentially involve gaining 51% control of the computational power or value of tokens staked to verify transactions, which would be extraordinarily expensive, even at today’s depressed prices. The more likely scenario, according to the article, is the collapse and generally a massive loss in faith in the exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocols. This could lead to further collapses of crypto prices, making 51% attacks more feasible, triggering a self-reinforcing crash as confidence in the protocols tanks. [Read more at the Economist]

Digital Euro Association Digital Money Academy

I will be discussing global central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments at the Digital Euro Association’s Digital Money Academy on November 29. If you want to get into CBDCs, register for the Academy here!

Kiffmeister’s Global 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 for any of you out there who work for a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution 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 chronicles@kiffmeister.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]