The US House Financial Services Committee considered Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act. The bill was passed out of the Committee and reported favorably to the House floor during the markup session, an important step toward passing this legislation through Congress. The Act would prevent the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) directly or indirectly to individuals or maintaining accounts on behalf of individuals. It would also prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from directing the Federal Reserve to issue a CBDC and clarifies that a CBDC can only be issued pursuant to congressional authorization. [Read more on Emmer’s website]
Interestingly, Emmer’s bill does leave the door open for a privacy-preserving digital currency: “this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall not apply to any dollar-denominated currency that is open, permissionless, and private, and fully preserves the privacy protections of United States coins and physical currency.” That could leave the door open for House Representative Stephen Lynch’s ECASH Act that would direct the Secretary of the Treasury (not the Federal Reserve) to develop and pilot digital dollar technologies that replicate the privacy-respecting features of physical cash. [Read the ECASH Act here and the FAQ here]
JP Morgan is participating in the Regulated Liability Network (RLN). Earlier in September 2023, the UK arm of the RLN shared the findings of its latest work without mentioning the participants. The network aims to bring together banks and central banks to support different types of digital currency on the same network. That includes CBDCs, deposit tokens and regulated stablecoins. In July the US RLN published a report involving several other U.S. banks, the New York Federal Reserve’s innovation arm and Mastercard. The premise that underpins the RLN is interoperability so that banks don’t need to use the same type of blockchain to transfer tokens between them. [Read more at Ledger Insights]
R3 has laid off a fifth of its employees as part of cost-cutting drive, blaming tough economic conditions that it says have led the company to shift its focus and business model. According to Bloomberg, the company had laid off just over a fifth of its headcount, affecting the company’s operations globally and across different functions. R3 is based in New York but operates an office in the United Kingdom. While enterprise blockchain technology has gained traction over the years, it remains a slow-moving industry where projects take years. However, these projects have moved slowly while others have been abandoned, leading to lost revenue for R3. [Read more at R3]
PayPal’s PYUSD dollar-denominated stablecoin is now available on Venmo to select users and will be rolling out fully in the coming weeks. Transfers between PayPal and Venmo users are fast and free, and individuals using compatible external wallets, and merchants accepting payments in PYUSD, will also be able to receive transfers from Venmo users (blockchain network fees apply). Also, PYUSD has been greenlisted by the New York State Department of Financial Services, making it easier for virtual currency entities licensed in New York to support PYUSD. [Read more at PayPal]
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are joining forces to explore and develop technology that can help to modernize Latin American and the Caribbean financial systems . The first collaboration will be on Project FuSSE (Fully Scalable Settlement Engine) aiming to design and test backend functionality that can be adapted to multiple types of infrastructures, allowing them to process a growing number of transactions and participants across various types of assets and the number of participants. The technology could support payment systems, security settlement systems or even CBDCs. [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.
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.
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