R3 published a report on the application of automated market makers (AMMs) to cross-border and cross-currency central bank digital currency (CBDC). AMM structures, which are are common in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, increase price transparency, work for low liquidity instruments, and bring the process of trading and settlement closer together. Such outcomes could benefit segments of today’s FX market. However, adapting AMM to spot FX markets will need to answer questions including: who would run it, what formula might be appropriate for larger transactions, and how to incentivize participants. [Read more at R3]
The UK Government has floated proposals to bring cryptoassets into the same regulatory regime as traditional financial services. The consultation sets out key design features of the regime covering themes such as prudential requirements, data reporting, consumer protection, location policy and operational resilience. The paper also proposes regimes for a range of cross-cutting issues which apply across crypto-asset activities and business models, including market abuse and crypto-asset issuance and disclosures. [Read more at HM Treasury]
In 2022, fintech companies secured a total of $75.2 billion in funding, a 46% decline from 2021. Deal counts also decreased, falling 8% year-on-year from 5,474 deals in 2021 to 5,048 deals last year. Fintech funding steady declined throughout the year, dropping from $30.4 billion in Q1 to $21.2 billion in Q2, $13 billion in Q3 and $10.7 billion in Q4 – the latter being the lowest level since 2018. Banking startups took the biggest hit, with funding plummeting 63% and deals falling 33% year-over-year. [Read more at FintechNews.ch]
A paper by Uniswap and Circle staff compared the traditional trading and settlement of FX with blockchain-based implementations using payment stablecoins and automated market making protocols. Using public blockchain data, they quantified the liquidity, stability, and transaction costs of on-chain FX transactions in early adoption. Their estimates suggested that on-chain FX can reduce the cost of remittance by as much as 80%. [Read more at SSRN]
According to Chainalysis, illicit addresses sent nearly $23.8 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2022, a 68.0% increase over 2021. As is usually the case, mainstream centralized exchanges were the biggest recipient of illicit cryptocurrency, taking in just under half of all funds sent from illicit addresses. More illicit funds were sent to DeFi protocols than ever before, a continuation of a trend that began in 2020. [Read more at Chainalysis]
Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:
- I’ll be moderating a panel on “what happens when the lights go out…different schemes for offline functionality” at the in-person Digital Currency Conference (DCC) in Mexico City on May 18. [Register 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 email@example.com.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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]