A legal framework for the digital euro
The European Parliament published a study that assesses the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) first three progress reports on the digital euro from a legal perspective. It looks into what key design choices proposed by the ECB reveal in terms of the legal qualification of the digital euro and discusses legal aspects of the infrastructure supporting it. It distinguishes between the object of the digital euro and the infrastructure or “scheme” needed for its distribution and settlement. Overall, the objective of ensuring a strong monetary anchor in the financial system should take centre stage. A simple and cash-like design of the digital euro would not only aid that objective, but also reduce legal risk. [Read more at the European Parliament]
Commencement of new phase of the e-HKD’s research programme
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today announced the commencement of a new phase of its e-HKD central bank digital currency (CBDC) research program. A total of 16 firms from the financial, payment and technology sectors have been selected to participate. There will be deep dives into potential use cases in six categories, including full-fledged payments, programmable payments, offline payments, tokenised deposits, settlement of Web3 transactions and settlement of tokenised assets. [Read more at the HKMA and the list of projects here]
Note: The HKMA called this new phase a “pilot” but it’s not clear whether it will engage with actual users. If yes, it is a pilot, but if not, it would likely be a proof-of-concept phase.
Ripple to demonstrate tokenization in HKMA e-HKD program
Ripple is one of the firms participating in this new phase of the HKMA’s e-HKD digital Hong Kong dollar (e-HKD) research program by showcasing a real estate asset tokenization solution. Ripple will partner with Taiwan’s Fubon Bank and others to demonstrate equity release with tokenized assets using a retail version of the e-HKD CBDC. The project will run on the new Ripple CBDC Platform, that uses a new private ledger with XRP Ledger technology and enhanced functionality, including offline transactions and non-smartphone use. It’s the same platform that may be piloted in Bhutan, Montenegro and Palau. [Read more at Coin Telegraph]
Crypto, tokens and DeFi: navigating the regulatory landscape
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a paper that provides an overview of policy measures taken in 19 jurisdictions to address the risks associated with activities that incorporate crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) programmability capabilities in financial services. The paper classifies policy measures into three categories and identifies different types of initiatives across jurisdictions, including bans, restrictions, clarifications, bespoke requirements, and initiatives to facilitate innovation. It finds that, for centrally managed issuance activities, current regulatory initiatives focus mainly on issuers of security tokens and stablecoins. Initiatives related to centrally managed infrastructure activities mainly explore the benefits and risks from traditional financial intermediaries’ use of DLTs and their programmability capabilities. Initiatives related to centrally managed service provision activities often extend the regulatory perimeter to new non-bank centralized intermediaries. [Read more at the BIS]
*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.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]
- I’ll be participating in Currency Research’s in-person Central Bank Payments Conference and Global Payments Summit in Cape Town from June 26 to 30. [Register here and here respectively]
- I’ll be lecturing at the Digital Euro Association (DEA) Digital Money Academy on July 27, 2023. [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 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]