Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230203)

India’s biggest retailer trials digital rupee

India’s Reliance Retail has teamed up with Icici Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Innoviti Technologies to roll out central bank digital currency (CBDC) acceptance at its Freshpik stores. The rest of its locations will follow. Customers that want to pay with the digital rupee, will be given a dynamic digital rupee acceptance QR code that is scanned at checkout. Also Kotak Mahindra Bank rolled out a digital rupee pilot to select customers in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad, who will be sent an email/SMS invite to download the digital rupee Android app. [Read more at Finextra and LiveMint]

Australia releases token mapping consultation paper, plans to reveal crypto rule framework in 2023

The Australian government released a token mapping consultation paper seeking responses from stakeholders by March 3, 2023. It identifies the key activities and functions of products in the crypto ecosystem and maps them against existing regulatory frameworks. This will inform a (separate) consultation paper to be published in mid-2023 that will propose a licensing and custody framework for crypto asset service providers. [Read more at the Australian Treasury]

Elon Musk pushes forward with Twitter payments vision

Twitter is reportedly working to introduce payments to its platform, and hopes to complete US licensing within a year before working on global licenses. Twitter aims to offer services such as peer-to-peer transactions, savings accounts and debit cards, as part of a plan to launch an “everything app” that incorporates messaging, payments and commerce. It would use fiat currencies at first, but may add crypto functionality later. [Read more at the Financial Times]

Silvergate faces US fraud probe over FTX and Alameda Dealings

US prosecutors in the Justice Department’s fraud unit are reportedly looking into Silvergate’s dealings with fallen crypto giants FTX and Alameda Research. The criminal investigation is examining Silvergate’s hosting of accounts tied to Sam Bankman-Fried’s businesses. The review adds to mounting scrutiny of the La Jolla, California-based crypto-friendly bank, which has also drawn the attention of lawmakers. [Read more at Bloomberg]

Coinbase wins dismissal of lawsuit over unregistered securities

Coinbase won dismissal of a lawsuit by consumers alleging the crypto exchange facilitated the sale of unregistered securities on its platform. The proposed class-action suit, filed in October 2021, seeks damages arising from the sale or soliciting of 79 digital assets that the consumers say amounted to illegal contracts because the platform is not registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. [Read more at Bloomberg]

Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:

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.

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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230201)

Cross-border cross-currency CBDCs and automated market-making

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]

UK Government outlines plans to regulate crypto-asset industry

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]

Fintech funding drops 46%; banking startups among worst hit

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]

DeFi fans are courting traders in $7.2 trillion currency market

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]

Crypto money laundering: four exchange deposit addresses received over $1 billion in illicit funds in 2022

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:

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.

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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230131)

DC³ Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to CBDCs

For those of you who missed the offline central bank digital currency (CBDC) panels that I moderated at last week’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) DC³ conference, they have been recorded and posted on the conference agenda, along with all the other sessions. [Watch them at the ITU]

Iran’s CBDC: CryptoRial reportedly ready for launch

The Central Bank of Iran will reportedly make its CryptoRial CBDC available to the public on February 7, 2023, following its pilot phase, of which little is known. Bank Melli, Bank Mellat and Bank Tejarat were involved in the experimental stages of the project, and Bank Melli and Bank Mellat conducted the pilot. If anyone out there knows more about the pilot, or upcoming launch, please let me know! [Read more at the Financial Tribune]

Digital payments make gains but cash remains

The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) published a brief that documents the acceleration of consumers’ and businesses’ migration away from cash and checks towards electronic payments, and a growing use of contactless and fast payments. The Covid-19 pandemic was likely responsible for the surge but at the same time, public demand for cash remains steady,  both as a means of payment and as a safe haven. [Read more at the Bank for International Settlements]

HKMA issues consultation conclusion to the discussion paper on crypto-assets and stablecoins

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued the consultation conclusion to the discussion paper on crypto-assets and stablecoins. Respondents were supportive of regulating stablecoins with a risk-based and agile approach. The respondents also broadly supported the need to take into account the latest market developments and draw reference from the discussion of international regulatory bodies when developing the relevant regulatory regime. he HKMA will announce the regulatory arrangements and next steps in due course. [Read more at the HKMA]

Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:

  • I’ll be speaking at SettleMint’s “central banks leading the way in the decentralized world” webinar on February 1 at 17:00 GST. [Register here]
  • 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 chronicles@kiffmeister.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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230128)

Are there tech solutions to the privacy and compliance trade-offs for CBDCs?

Users will likely demand cash-like privacy protections for central bank digital currency (CBDC), which may be thwarted by regulations. However, in an article for CoinDesk, Jonas Gross and I outline new technology solutions that may enable high degrees of privacy while complying with regulations. [Read more at CoinDesk]

Banks will dominate stablecoins, and two other predictions about the future of money

My SODA colleague Chris Ostrowski and Chris Hayes, in another CoinDesk article, make three predictions on the landscape for CBDCs and stablecoins in Europe and in the U.S. based on the trends they’ve seen through engagement with central bankers and policymakers. [Read more at CoinDesk]

DC³ conference – from cryptocurrencies to CBDCs​​

I moderated a couple of sessions on offline central bank digital currency (CBDC) at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) DC³ “From Cryptocurrencies to CBDCs”​​ conference on January 27, 2023. The first session was on the importance of offline payments for CBDCs and financial inclusion at which cases were presented by Lars Hupel (G+D), Razvan Dragomirescu (WhisperCash), Joachim Samuelsson (Crunchfish) and Jerome Ajdenbaum (IDEMIA). The second session was a deep dive into offline CBDC implementaion and risk management presented by Lauren Del Giudice (IDEMIA) and Stuart Smith (VISA). [Both sessions were recorded and are available at the ITU]

Kansas City Fed rejects Custodia’s master account application

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has denied Custodia Bank’s application for a master account, according to a U.S. district court filing. The Kansas City Fed disclosed the rejection in a motion to dismiss filed with the U.S. District Court of Wyoming on Friday afternoon. Custodia is suing both the Kansas City Fed and the Fed Board of Governors over its long-delayed application for a master account, which grants access to the Fed’s various financial services, including its payment system. In its filing, the Kansas City Fed and the Board of Governors argue that the ruling should render Custodia’s lawsuit moot. The bank had sought to pressure the Fed to make a decision about its two-year-old application, arguing that it had been subject to an unreasonable delay. Nathan Miller, a spokesman for Custodia, said the bank plans to continue its litigation against the Fed, noting that the bank intends to challenge whether the bank has congressional authority to pick and choose which institutions can have master accounts. Custodia and others argue that any state chartered depository is entitled to master account access. [Read more at the American Banker

Federal Reserve Board issues policy statement to promote a level playing field for all banks with a federal supervisor, regardless of deposit insurance status

The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) issued a policy statement to promote a level playing field for all banks with a federal supervisor, regardless of deposit insurance status. The statement makes clear that uninsured and insured banks supervised by the Board will be subject to the same limitations on activities, including novel banking activities, such as crypto-asset-related activities. The statement also makes clear that uninsured and insured banks supervised by the Board would be subject to the limitations on certain activities imposed on national banks, which are overseen by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The equal treatment will promote a level playing field and limit regulatory arbitrage… The Board generally believes that issuing dollar- denominated tokens (dollar tokens) using distributed ledger technology or similar technologies on open, public, and/or decentralized networks, or similar systems is highly likely to be inconsistent with safe and sound banking practices. The Board believes such tokens raise concerns related to operational, cybersecurity, and run risks, and may also present significant illicit finance risks, because—depending on their design—such tokens could circulate continuously, quickly, pseudonymously, and indefinitely among parties unknown to the issuing bank. Importantly, the Board believes such risks are pronounced where the issuing bank does not have the capability to obtain and verify the identity of all transacting parties, including for those using unhosted wallets. [Read more at the FRB]

White House calls on congress to ‘step up its efforts’ on crypto regulation

The Biden administration published a statement urging Congress to “step up its efforts” with respect to regulating the cryptocurrency market. Other suggestions included strengthening transparency and disclosure requirements for crypto companies, strengthening penalties for violations of illicit-finance rules, and working more closely with international law enforcement partners. The officials also made suggestions about what Congress should not do in terms of crafting new crypto regulation, including “greenlight[ing] mainstream institutions, like pension funds, to dive headlong into cryptocurrency markets.” [Read more at the White House

Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:

  • I’ll be speaking at SettleMint’s “central banks leading the way in the decentralized world” webinar on February 1 at 17:00 GST. [Register here]
  • 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 chronicles@kiffmeister.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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230127)

To demand or not to demand: on quantifying the future appetite for CBDC

The IMF published a paper by Marco Gross and Elisa Letizia that proposes a structural, stock-flow consistent model of banks, the central bank, and the private sector economic environment. It can be used to examine the impact of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), to estimate its uptake, alongside its impact on bank balance sheets and profitability, monetary policy effectiveness, central bank seigniorage, and various other metrics. A “deposit-like” CBDC remunerated at the policy rate results in an estimated upper bound of CBDC uptake share of 25% of total “money” (cash, bank deposits and CBDC) in the United States and up to 20% in the Eurozone. However, uptakes of unremunerated “cash-like” CBDCs would be well below 5%. The less deposit-like (and the more cash-like) and the lower the remuneration rate, the smaller the CBDC uptake (see figure below). The model codes have been made publicly available, for transparency and to allow applying the model to other countries. [Read more at the IMF]

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board denies Custodia Bank’s Federal Reserve System application

The Federal Reserve Board has denied Custodia Bank’s application to become a member of the Federal Reserve System, saying that it is inconsistent with the required factors under the law. Custodia is a Wyoming-chartered special purpose depository institution, which does not have federal deposit insurance. According to the denial, Custodia is proposing to engage in “novel and untested crypto activities that include issuing a crypto asset on open, public and/or decentralized networks that… present significant safety and soundness risks… The Board has previously made clear that such crypto activities are highly likely to be inconsistent with safe and sound banking practices, and it found that Custodia’s risk management framework was insufficient to address [these] concerns [and] its ability to mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks. [Read more at the Federal Reserve Board]

Enabling offline payments in an online world

Crunchfish and Lipis Advisors published a guide to offline payments design, providing insights to how offline payments relate and can interoperate with online payment system. It provides a way of categorizing offline payment solutions by three design choices which provides the payment ecosystem with a better understanding of the nuances of offline payments:

  • Online Payment Rail: (i) distributed ledger technology (DLT) based or (ii) centralized account-based. (The paper incorrectly labels DLT-based as token-based (see the 2020 New York Fed article on this misnomer)).
  • Offline Security Protocol: (i) native (layer-1) or (ii) non-native (layer-2) digital currency security protocol, described in relation to the underlying online payment rail.
  • Offline Trusted Environment: (i) hardware-based or (ii) software-based.

On a layer-1 solution the offline payment solution uses the same native security protocols as the underlying payment service. On a non-native layer-2 security protocol, digital currency is signed out by debiting a locally held offline balance. A non-native layer-2 solution can be integrated with any type of payment rail and general ledger as the offline security protocol can be interoperable with any underlying payment system. [Read more at Crunchfish]

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.

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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230115)

Tanzania plans ‘cautious’ central bank digital currency launch

The Bank of Tanzania  is working toward a “phased, cautious and risk-based” introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The central bank will “continue to monitor, research and collaborate with stakeholders, including other central banks, in the efforts to arrive at a suitable and appropriate use and technology for issuance of Tanzanian shillings in digital form”. It is exploring both retail and wholesale CBDC. [Read more at the Bank of Tanzania]

The impact of cryptocurrency regulation on trading markets

A Journal of Financial Regulation article by Brian Feinstein and Kevin Werbach suggests that crypto-focused regulatory measures are essentially useless. They assembled original data on crypto regulations worldwide and used them to empirically examine movement in trading activity at a number of exchanges following key regulatory announcements. They concluded that, from the creation of bespoke licensing regimes to targeted anti-money-laundering and anti-fraud enforcement actions, as well as many other categories of government activities, there was no systemic evidence that regulatory measures cause traders to flee, or enter into, the affected jurisdictions. [Read more at SSRN]

These results are  similar to those of a study by Ronald Pol published in Policy Design and Practice (Anti-money laundering: The world’s least effective policy experiment?). It found that the anti-money laundering policy intervention had less than 0.1 percent impact on criminal finances, compliance costs exceed recovered criminal funds more than a hundred times over, and banks, taxpayers and ordinary citizens are penalized more than criminal enterprises. The data are poorly validated and methodological inconsistencies rife, so findings cannot be definitive, but there is a huge gap between policy intent and results. [Read more at Policy Design and Practice]

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 chronicles@kiffmeister.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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230113)

E-CNY app adds payment function for when mobiles are offline, out of power

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has added a new function to its e-CNY payment app so that select Android-based mobile phones can be still be used to make tap-to-pay payments without internet connection or power. Users need to activate the function in the e-yuan app, and can choose how many times it can be used and how much can be paid after their phone shuts down. To allay security concerns, A verification code must be entered into the device if set payment and transaction limits are exceeded. Additionally, users can suspend the function by logging into the e-yuan app from another device. It apparently uses near-field Communications (NFC) technology, and payment amounts are limited to ten transactions of up to RMB 500 ($75). [Read more at Yicai Global].

Market research on possible technical solutions for a digital euro

As announced in December 2022, the European Central Bank (ECB) is inviting market participants to take part in market research to get an overview of options for the technical design of possible digital euro components and services. Participation is voluntary and will not have any impact on eligibility for future procurement procedures related to a digital euro or any other topic. Nor will it imply any pre-selection for a potential subsequent tender. Submissions are due by February 17, 2023 in a fully anonymous manner, avoiding trade names. [Read more at the ECB]

Addressing the risks in crypto: laying out the options

A Bank of International Settlements (BIS) paper suggests that authorities can take three different approaches when it comes to crypto-assets; targeted regulation, containment (“let crypto burn”), or  a complete ban. Central banks and public authorities could also work to make traditional finance (TradFi) more attractive. A key option is to encourage sound innovation with central bank digital currency (CBDC). [Read more at the BIS]

Mobile money activity rates: Exploring barriers to regular use

The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) is exploring of low mobile money activity rates. Despite high sign-up rates, only 26% of accounts are active on a monthly basis, while 38% are active on a 90-day basis. Findings from the annual GSMA Consumer Survey run in ten countries in 2021 shed light on perceived reasons for low activity. The main barriers were found to be a preference for cash, lacking sufficient funds for mobile money to be useful and not needing mobile money due to alternative electronic financial services. Other important barriers include users having a limited ability in using a phone, and mobile money transaction costs being too high. [Read more at the GSMA]

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 chronicles@kiffmeister.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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

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 chronicles@kiffmeister.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 (chris@sodapublicmoney.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]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20221218)

Kazakhstan central bank recommends a phased CBDC rollout between 2023-25

The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) and the Payment and Financial Technology Development Center of the Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) published a report on the results of the study on the need to introduce the digital tenge. It is reportedly recommending making the central bank digital currency (CBDC) available as early as 2023 with a phased expansion of functionality and introduction into commercial operation until the end of 2025. Unfortunately the report won’t be available in English until later this week, at which point I’ll be able to verify some of the facts and plans. For example, the report is saying that a pilot was just wrapped up, but it’s unclear whether it’s a pilot of proof of concept, since I don’t know the composition of the test users. If they’re pulled from the general public, it is a pilot, but if the test subjects are limited to central bank staff, it’s a proof of concept by my taxonomy. [Download the report here]

How to design a compliant, privacy-preserving fiat stablecoin via zero-knowledge proofs

etonec published a paper co-written by my good friend and frequent collaborator Jonas Gross that explores the feasibility of a (fiat) stablecoin that provides similar privacy guarantees to cash while enforcing compliance with anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regulation. The concept enables cash-like private digital stablecoin transactions up to specific monetary limits. If these monetary limits are reached, transactions are conducted in a less private way, e.g., fully transparently on a blockchain or via including third parties that approve the transaction. High privacy guarantees and compliance with limits are ensured in a trustless way via the use of cryptographic zero-knowledge proofs. To effectively implement turnover limits, the concept relies on the availability of a unique digital ID available to all participants of the stablecoin system. Payments by one person can then be mapped to one ID and summed up. This summing up is necessary to ensure that a participant can only open one private stablecoin account. Yet, only the owner of a unique digital ID and the corresponding account can do this mapping. [Read more at etonec]

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.

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 (20221217)

Brazil central bank plans to launch a CBDC in 2024

President Roberto Campos Neto said that the Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) plans to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by 2024. The central bank will conduct proof of concept work with some financial institutions before launching a full-blown pilot. [Download the BCB presentation here

Basel Committee finalizes policy suggesting 2% bitcoin cap for banks

The BIS Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has finalized a proposed policy that would place a 2% limit on banks’ Tier 1 capital held in bitcoin and other “Group 2” crypto-assets. Tier 1 capital is the core capital held in a bank’s reserves that is used to fund business activities for the bank’s clients. It includes common stock, as well as disclosed reserves and certain other assets. Group 1 crypto-assets include tokenised traditional assets (Group 1a) and crypto-assets with effective stabilization mechanisms (Group 1b). Group 1 crypto-assets are subject to capital requirements based on the risk weights of underlying exposures as set out in the existing Basel Framework. Group 2 crypto-assets are those that fail to meet any of the Group 1 classification conditions. [Read more at the BIS]

Why the UN is sending war-torn people In Ukraine aid in stablecoins

Through a new blockchain-based humanitarian program, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will send cryptocurrency to Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s atrocities. Stellar Development Foundation has partnered with UNHCR to deliver USD Coin (USDC) to Stellar’s Vibrant digital wallets of eligible applicants. The relief beneficiaries can then convert the USDC into the currency of their choice at at MoneyGram outlets, of which there are 4,500 in Ukraine. The program’s developers hope that this will allow refugees to get aid more easily, regardless of whether or not they have access to a bank account. [Read more at Bitcoinist]

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.

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]