Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230104)

I’ve updated my tabulation of retail central bank digital currency (#CBDC) explorers. Mostly just updated links. There are still 91 central banks that have recently issued, piloted, experimented with and/or researched retail CBDC. (Note that I don’t pump up my count by separately count national central banks that are members of currency unions.) [Check out the tabulation here]

US agencies issue joint statement on crypto-asset risks to banking organizations

US federal bank regulatory agencies issued a statement highlighting key risks for banking organizations associated with crypto-assets and the crypto-asset sector and describing the agencies’ approaches to supervision in this area. Banking organizations are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing banking services to customers of any specific class or type, as permitted by law or regulation. However, the agencies believe that issuing or holding as principal crypto-assets that are issued, stored, or transferred on an open, public, and/or decentralized network, or similar system is highly likely to be inconsistent with safe and sound banking practices. Further, the agencies have significant safety and soundness concerns with business models that are concentrated in crypto-asset-related activities or have concentrated exposures to the crypto-asset sector.[Read more at the Federal Reserve Board]

Coinbase reaches $100 million settlement with New York regulator over compliance programs

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) reached a $100 million settlement with Coinbase over issues regarding the company’s compliance programs. Coinbase will be required to pay $50 million as a penalty and invest an additional $50 million to bolster its abilities to comply with financial regulations. The department said it found “significant failures” in Coinbase’s compliance program that violated virtual currency regulations regarding, know-your-customer (KYC) due diligence, transaction monitoring, and suspicious activity reporting. [Read more at the NYDFS]

Breaking RSA with a Quantum Computer

A group of Chinese researchers have published a paper claiming that they can—although they have not yet done so—break 2048-bit RSA. Bruce Schneier says this is something to take seriously – it might not be correct, but it’s not obviously wrong. One of the issues with the algorithm is that it relies on a recent factoring paper by Peter Schnorr. It’s a controversial paper; and despite the “this destroys the RSA cryptosystem” claim in the abstract, it does nothing of the sort. Schnorr’s algorithm works well with smaller moduli—around the same order as ones the Chinese group has tested—but falls apart at larger sizes. At this point, nobody understands why. If that’s true, the techniques in this Chinese paper won’t scale either. [Read more at Schneier Security]

2nd Edition of DC³ Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will hold (virtually) the second edition of its DC3 Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)​ from January 24 to 27 2023. On January 27 I will be moderating two panels on offline central bank digital currency (CBDC). Also, on January 24, Jacques Francouer and I will be providing an update to our ITU Digital Currency Global Initiative digital currency ontology work. [For more event detail go to the ITU DC3 conference site]

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

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 (

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 (20220416)

European Commission receives more than 10,000 public comments amid digital euro consultation

The European Commission (EC) has received about 10,000 public comments so far on its call for evidence regarding a digital euro, which is to run from April 5 to June 14 and is aimed at getting feedback for the possible establishment and regulation of a digital currency as a new form of central bank money. During a similar period, the EC is also conducting a consultation targeted at relevant authorities and experts, to help policymakers consider issues including users’ needs and expectations for a digital euro, a digital euro’s role for the EU’s retail payments and digital economy, the application of money-laundering rules, privacy and data protection aspects and international payments. [Read more]

Monetary policy and financial stability implications of central bank digital currencies

This article, written by European Central Bank (ECB) staff, is a nice summary of recent research on the possible implications for financial stability and monetary policy of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC). It concludes that careful design will be crucial in maximizing the benefits of CBDCs while managing any unintended consequences. The article also identifies avenues for further research that could usefully inform future policy decisions on such currencies. [Read more]

Is Quantum Computing a Threat to Bitcoin?

The functional reality of a quantum computer cracking encrypted systems may only be five years away. The main threat is not whether quantum computers can ‘open up’ private key information… it’s more about the power of a quantum computer to replicate a private key without you knowing, undercutting trust in the entire signature process. Imperial College researchers have suggested a soft fork of the Bitcoin blockchain that would allow the “secure transition of funds to quantum-resistant wallets.” Others have proposed increasing the size of Bitcoin keys.  [Read more]

Circle Will Apply for US Bank Charter Soon, CEO Confirms

Circle, the issuer of USD stablecoin, is pushing forward with its plans to submit an application to operate as a U.S. crypto bank, CEO Jeremy Allaire told Bloomberg. If approved, the startup would be the fourth federally chartered crypto bank in the U.S. Allaire added that his company and the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which facilitates bank charters, have been talking about Circle’s digital asset banking prospects among other related topics such as the interoperability between blockchains. [Read more]

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank is hosting several webinars over the next month:

Satoshi Capital Advisors is hosting a virtual workshop on wholesale CBDC, stablecoins and digital capital markets on May 24 (starting at 08:00 EST). [Register here with the passcode: CBDC]