Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220808)

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.

CBDC launch still on the table, BoJ says

A Bank of Japan (BoJ) official said the central bank has not scrapped its preparations for a potential CBDC launch, dismissing misleading reports by a number of media outlets. Tomohiro Sugo, head of the payment and settlement system division, told Central Banking that “the Bank of Japan continues preparing for the possible issuance of CBDC in the future and it has not quit its preparations.” [Read more at Central Banking] As I mentioned a few days ago the misleading reports started with an Asia Times op-ed that rehashed inaccurately a July 5, 2022 report from the BoJ’s Liaison and Coordination Committee on Central Bank Digital Currency.

Nepal’s central bank working to amend Act to issue digital currency

The Nepal Rastra Bank has reportedly initiated an exercise to revise the Nepal Rastra Bank Act in order to enable the central bank to issue digital versions of the Nepali currency. Revati Nepal, chief of the currency management department at the central bank. said that “a task force formed by the central bank has drafted an amendment bill to authorize the Nepal Rastra Bank to issue and manage a digital currency.” [Read more at the Kathmandu Post]

Cashlessness, Crime and Central Bank Digital Currency

David Birch argues that cash reduction via fintech means an increase in net welfare. People who are trapped in a cash economy, the poor in particular, are more likely to get robbed, to get bad deals, and to get shaken down. Although that argues for reducing cash usage,  what do we do about the people people who say they would “struggle to cope” in a cashless society (one in five according to a U.K. survey) and those who say it would be “problematic” (half of those surveyed)? [Read more here]

Survey on potential CBDC use cases in the Asia-Pacific region

Deborah Healey and Heng Wang of the University of New South Wales have launched a study of the impact of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) on stakeholders and consumers across the Asia-Pacific region. In that regard they are inviting such stakeholders and consumers in the region to take part in a survey on the potential uses of retail CBDC in Asia. The survey should take 12-15 minutes to complete and will be active until midnight August 24, 2022 (AEST). Responses will be anonymous and not attributed to users or their organizations. If you have any questions, would like an invitation to the launch and a copy of the final report please email d.healey@unsw.edu.au. Also, please feel free to share this request with others in the region. [Click here to take the survey]

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  [Register here]

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with Georgetown University and the DC FinTech Week, is hosting a Digital Currency Lecture Series, a set of digital currency lightning talks delivered by subject matter experts, on October 14 in Washington DC. [Request an invite here]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220801)

Israel puts the brakes on cash to spur digital payments

The Israeli Tax Authority has placed further restrictions on cash payments to allow authorities to more easily track tax evasion, black market activity and money laundering, and spur digital payments. Since January 2019, Israeli businesses and consumers have been subject to limits on cash payments under the Law for the Reduction in the Use of Cash. They have now been tightened to 6,000 shekels ($1,760) for business and 15,000 shekels ($4,400) for personal transactions. [Read more at CoinTelegraph]

Binance Compliance Officer: KYC Cost Exchange ‘Billions in Revenue’

Reuters recently published a series of investigative reports on Binance and its association with illicit activity, claiming that Binance has become a hub for criminal activity and that it overlooked several money-laundering red flags. In a CoinDesk interview, Tigran Gambaryan and Matthew Price, key members of Binance’s compliance team and former investigators at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s cybercrime unit, disputed a number of these claims. In particular, they claimed that proportional to trading volumes, illicit trading on Binance is no worse than on other exchanges. [Read more at CoinDesk]

Millicent Successfully Tests a General Purpose Full-Reserve Stablecoin

Millicent, a fintech company co-funded by the Innovate UK, has successfully performed a test of a full-reserve stablecoin aimed at the retail market. The reserves are held in a ringfenced account safeguarded by a regulated third party, directly at the Bank of England. Millicent runs on a hybrid Layer-1 distributed ledger network. A sandbox demonstration simulated fiat on-ramping via Faster Payments from a UK consumer bank, as well as the on-chain conversion and minting of GBP-pegged stablecoins, and a variety of payment and settlement scenarios. [Read more at Yahoo Finance]

European banking regulator ‘concerned’ about finding staff to oversee crypto

European Banking Authority Chair José Manuel Campa views the regulator’s ability to hire and retain specialized staff as a “major concern”, particularly in the areas of technology, anything related to crypto and digitization. “This is in high demand across society.” [Read more in Finextra]

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  [Register here]