Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230111)

Indians living in ten countries can now make payments through UPI

India’s National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has extended access to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to non-resident Indians from 10 countries (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States). Indians living abroad comprise the world’s largest overseas remittance-sending diaspora.  Other countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and Singapore, have already signed deals with NPCI to integrate their payment networks with UPI, enabling seamless cross-border payments. [Read more at the NPCI]

ABN AMRO issues tokenized corporate bond on public blockchain

ABN AMRO issued a €450,000 bond on a public blockchain on behalf of APOC Aviation. The bond’s entire issuance process was digital, including the preparation, placement and documentation. Ownership of the digital asset was recorded on the blockchain after payment was received, but payment took place on conventional payment rails. Investors store the digital assets in a wallet. [Read more at ABN AMRO]

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 (20221112)

FTX says it moved remaining funds to cold wallets to ‘mitigate damage’ after ‘unauthorized transactions’

Over $600 million in crypto left FTX’s wallets late Friday (November 11, 2022) and many FTX wallet holders also reported that they were seeing $0 balances in their FTX.com and FTX US wallets. The bankrupt exchange’s general counsel Ryne Miller said the exchange was “investigating abnormalities with wallet movements related to consolidation of FTX balances across exchanges — unclear facts as other movements not clear.” Shortly after that, he said that the firm had initiated precautionary steps to move all digital assets to cold storage. Also, on-chain data seems to indicate that funds are also being drained from wallets of clients of Almeda, a sister trading company of the exchange. Obviously the situation is very fluid, with all sorts of rumors floating around. For those interested in following the FTX trials and tribulations, I’m still collecting them here on my Diigo social bookmarking page.

New York Fed, several big banks testing ‘regulated liability network’

The New York Fed is reportedly poised to unveil a proof-of-concept for “regulated liability networks” — an experiment around tracking and transmitting tokenized debt issued by an array of regulated financial institutions. Citi’s Tony McLaughlin, a leader in the field of regulated liability networks. in a recent blog post on Citi’s website, wrote, “It may be possible for central banks and regulators to create a new direction for the regulated sector through a slight pivot in existing CBDC projects and the nascent tokenization of commercial bank money. They may adopt a broader view of the task at hand — not the tokenization of central bank liabilities, but the tokenization of all regulated liabilities on a common platform.” [Read more on The Block]

FTX showed the problems of centralized finance, and proved the need for DeFi

The FTX collapse was a failure of centralized finance (CeFi), not decentralized finance (DeFi). If there is a silver lining for the FTX fiasco, it is a reminder of the importance of decentralization. Like the financial institutions that collapsed in 2008, the CeFi economic incentive is to under-collateralize and take risks with user funds, play political games, and cozying up to regulators. DeFi platforms are designed to preserve the benefits introduced by Bitcoin and magnified by Ethereum: permissionless, transparency, censorship resistance and self-sovereign custody of assets. [Read the whole editorial on CoinDesk]

Binance Reserves Show Almost Half of Holdings Are in Its Own Tokens

Binance holds $74.7 billion worth of tokens of which around 40% are in its own BUSD US dollar-pegged stablecoin and its BNB native coin. Of the $74.6 billion termed as networth, about $23 billion was in BUSD and $6.4 billion in BNB. The exchange has also allocated 10.5% of its holdings in Bitcoin and 9.8% in Ether. While Binance shared details of its reserves, the dashboard does not break down how much of the assets are its own holdings, versus those of its customers. [Read more on Bloomberg]

Crypto.com Holds 20% of Its Reserves in Meme Token SHIB

Crypto.com holds 31% of its digital asset reserves in Bitcoin, 20% in the Shiba Inu token (a highly speculative “meme coin”) and 17% in Ethereum. Various other cryptocurrencies and tokens collectively account for the rest. Meme coins are cryptocurrencies and tokens that are typically inspired by internet memes, and don’t have significant functional utility. [Read more at Decrypt]

New Zealand government moves to introduce open banking to give customers a better deal

New Zealand will introduce open banking over the next two years. Minister of commerce and consumer affairs David Clark said “open banking ensures banks must share customer information if they request it, making it easier for New Zealanders to compare mortgage rates, apply for loans, and switch banks.” [Read David Clark’s statement here]

A LeVeL Paying Field: Cryptographic Solutions towards Social Accountability and Financial Inclusion

Crypto-assets rely on fixed public/private key algorithms, which are resting targets for advanced cryptanalysis. BitMint’s BitMint*LeVeL protocol allows each holder to pick their own public/private key algorithm, so that an attacker would have to compromise all the algorithms used by all previous coin owners – a substantial security upgrade relative to existing crypto-assets. LeVeL can be applied to crypto-assets and fiat currency to effectively serve as a claim check. BitMint*LeVeL can achieve decentralization via BitMint’s InterMint: Money is minted by many smoothly interchangeable mints competing for traders. [Download the paper 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.

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 (20221102)

Project Mariana: CBDCs in automated market makers

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, Banque de France, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Swiss National Bank launched Project Mariana, to investigate the use of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols to automate FX trading and settlement. The project will explore the use of automated market makers (AMMs) for the cross-border exchange of hypothetical CHF, EUR and SGD wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC). AMMs combine smart contracts with pooled liquidity to price and transfer digital assets automatically. [Read more at the BIS]

MAS Completes Its First Digital Asset Live Trades Under Project Guardian

The MAS’s Project Guardian DeFi-based wholesale funding platform completed its first live trades, with DBS Bank, JP Morgan and SBI Digital Asset Holdings conducting live foreign exchange and government bond transactions against liquidity pools comprising of tokenized Singapore and Japanese government bonds, Japanese Yen (JPY) and Singapore Dollar (SGD). More industry pilots have been launched to test the application of asset tokenization and DeFi across a broader range of use cases in the financial sector. [Read more at the MAS]

Singapore Starts Two New Token Pilots With Standard Chartered, HSBC and Others

The MAS is starting two pilot projects to explore trade finance and wealth management product tokenization. The trade finance project will be led by Standard Chartered, and the wealth management product one involves HSBC, UOB, and Marketnode, a digital asset platform built by the Singapore Exchange and Temasek. [Read more at the MAS]

India’s CBDC makes glitch-free start in the world of real-time trades

India’s wholesale CBDC reportedly made a steady and glitch-free start in the world of real-time trades on its first day (November 1, 2022), with several banks using the virtual money backed by Mint Road to settle nearly 50 government bond transactions cumulatively worth about Rs 275 crore. [Read more at the Economic Times]

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 CBDC Think Tank is a New York-based technology- and vendor-agnostic digital currency knowledge-sharing hub for staff of central banks, international financial institutions (IFIs) and non-government organizations (NGOs). It runs webinars, workshops, and masterclasses to disseminate knowledge and facilitate communication. It also engages in advisory work, focusing on delivering impact that best aligns with the needs of its clients and the forward progress of human civilization. The CBDC Think Tank welcomes requests from central bank officials for CBDC advisory services.  [click here for more information].

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 (20221025)

It’s been a quiet few days, which is why I haven’t published a Digest since Friday. Perhaps this quietness is on account of the Diwali Festival of Lights? In any case, Happy Diwali to all of my Hindu followers!

Digital-Currency Plan Falters as Nigerians Defiant on Crypto

“A year after launching Africa’s first digital currency, Nigeria’s central bank is turning to the nation’s three-wheeler taxi operators to speed the adoption of the eNaira, as regulators across the world scrutinize its every move. It’s offering a 5% discount to drivers and passengers of the motorized rickshaws who use the eNaira. It’s the latest attempt to kickstart the central bank digital currency (CBDC), which has so far attracted just one in 200 Nigerians… The relatively low adoption up until this point, while not uncommon for countries in the early phases of launching a digital currency, may be caused by insufficient incentives for commercial banks or mis-targeted consumer messaging, according to John Kiff, managing director of the CBDC Think Tank.” [Read more at Bloomberg]

Wealthsimple first FinTech startup approved by Bank of Canada for direct settlement

Wealthsimple has become the first non-bank or credit union to be approved by the Bank of Canada for a direct settlement account. This means that the FinTech startup will not have to rely on a third-party financial institution to process transactions when Real-Time Rail (RTR) launches in Canada, as it will have direct access. However, for the second time, Payments Canada has delayed the RTR launch, saying it needs more time to validate and test the system’s components and end-to-end integration, and it could be a long wait. [Read more on Wealthsimple’s LinkedIn page]

BIS, UN, Hong Kong Monetary Authority concludes tokenized green bonds trial

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the United Nations Climate Change Global Innovation Hub presented the results of their Genesis 2.0 initiative. The project aims to explore the use of blockchain, smart contracts and the Internet of Things (IoT) for a global environment cause. The project resulted in two prototypes of tokenized green bonds, developed by two separate international teams, which are “de facto verified carbon credits” recognized by either international, national or other verification mechanisms. [Read more at the BIS]

Plaid’s 2022 Consumer Survey: The Fintech Effect

Plaid surveyed more than 4,000 consumers in the UK and US as part of its annual Fintech Effect report. It found that 80% use some type of digital financial tool, down from 88% last year – a decrease that Plaid attributes to adoption falling away among ‘baby boomers’, who report lower levels of fintech usage this year compared to 2021. But adoption is still significantly higher than in 2020, when 58% of consumers reported using some sort of fintech tool. [Read more at Plaid]

Sustaining digital payments growth: Winning models in emerging markets

According to McKinsey, digital payment transactions grew rapidly in emerging markets during the past two years, as the pandemic accelerated shifts to contactless payments and e-commerce. E-wallets proliferated, real-time account-to-account transfers took off, and industry players formed new partnerships to access capabilities and broaden their customer base. Some of the fastest growth occurred in Africa and Southeast Asia, where low banking penetration gives payments providers opportunities to capture untapped potential and reach underserved populations.

Margins for digital payments providers are already wafer thin and are likely to be eroded further by competitive intensity and declining fees. In many cases, payments are more a means to cross-sell other products than a profit center in their own right. Some services, such as peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, are usually offered to users for free in most markets. In Brazil, for instance, Pix is pushing margins down by offering P2P payments for free and person-to-merchant (P2M) payments at low cost. [Read more at McKinsey]

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 CBDC Think Tank is a New York-based technology- and vendor-agnostic digital currency knowledge-sharing hub for staff of central banks, international financial institutions (IFIs) and non-government organizations (NGOs). It runs webinars, workshops, and masterclasses to disseminate knowledge and facilitate communication. It also engages in advisory work, focusing on delivering impact that best aligns with the needs of its clients and the forward progress of human civilization. The CBDC Think Tank welcomes requests from central bank officials for CBDC advisory services.  [click here for more information].

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 (20220920)

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) e-HKD policy stance

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released a position paper that sets out its policy stance on retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) and outlines its next steps. It was informed by two rounds of market consultation, one on high-level technical design and one on key policy and design issues. Taking into account the feedback received and further study by the central bank’s staff, the HKMA will start paving the way for possible implementation of e-HKD in the future. A three-rail approach will be adopted, one of which will be a pilot involving selected banks, payment companies and other technology firms, plus their staff and a small number of clients. [Read more at the HKMA]

Final Decision on Digital Tenge Still Pending in Kazakhstan

The final decision on the National Bank of Kazakhstan’s Digital Tenge project has reportedly not yet been made, but is expected to be announced by the end of 2022, the project’s head Ainur Kenzhayeva said in an interview with The Astana Times. The team is working now to expand the platform’s functionality. A pilot project with the participation of real users in a limited loop is also planned for this fall. [Read more at The Astana Times]

The Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index

According to Chainalysis, global crypto adoption has leveled off in the last year after growing consistently since mid-2019. Emerging markets dominate the index. Out of the top 20 ranked countries, ten are lower middle income (:Vietnam, Philippines, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Morocco, Nepal, Kenya, and Indonesia), eight are upper middle income (Brazil, Thailand, Russia, China, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador) and two are high income (United States and United Kingdom). [Read more at Chainalysis]

Buy Now, Pay Later: Market trends and consumer impacts

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published research on the U.S. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) market, based on data from Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, PayPal, and Zip Co. It identifies several benefits of BNPL loans over legacy credit products (no interest and sometimes no late fees, and ubiquitous, easy to access, simple repayment structure) and a number of potential consumer risks (a requirement to use autopay for all loan payments, data harvesting and borrower overextension). [Read more at the CFPB]

Deutsche Börse to issue digital securities on DLT-ready D7 platform

“Last year, the Deutsche Börse unveiled the launch of D7, a digital securities post-trade platform. It is now taking its second step by issuing digitally native securities in the fourth quarter. While the latest phase uses smart contracts, the securities are not yet blockchain-based, which is planned for a third phase.” [Read more at Ledger Insights]

 

 

 

Tickets available for CBDC Think Tank masterclass

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the IMF and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC for “official sector” staff and academics active in the CBDC / digital currency space only. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  Tickets are $99. [Register here]

Also, the CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with Georgetown University and the DC FinTech Week, is hosting a FREE (also in-person) Digital Currency Lecture Series, a set of digital currency lightning talks delivered by subject matter experts, on October 14 in Washington DC. [Request an invite 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.

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220914)

Securitize KKR Health Care Growth II Tokenized Fund

Through a partnership with Securitize Capital, investors can gain tokenized exposure to investment firm KKR’s latest health care focused growth equity fund, with lower investment minimums and greater potential for liquidity. It marks the first time exposure to one of KKR’s alternative investment strategies has been offered in a digital format in the United States. The fund is tokenized on the eco-friendly Avalanche public blockchain-based smart contract platform. [Read more at Securitize Capital]

OpenNode Is Testing Bitcoin Payments With The Central Bank Of Bahrain

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has authorized OpenNode to test its bitcoin payment processing and payouts solution in the central bank’s regulatory sandbox. The sandbox is a virtual space for CBB-licensed financial institutions and other start-ups and FinTech firms to test their technology-based innovative solutions/services relevant to FinTech before scaling up their operations in Bahrain and across the region. [Read more at  PR Newswire]

Discounted tickets available for CBDC Think Tank masterclass

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the IMF and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC for “official sector” staff and academics active in the CBDC / digital currency space only. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  Tickets are $99. [Register here]

Also, the CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with Georgetown University and the DC FinTech Week, is hosting a FREE (also in-person) Digital Currency Lecture Series, a set of digital currency lightning talks delivered by subject matter experts, on October 14 in Washington DC. [Request an invite 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.

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220725)

UK to explore blockchain-based government bond

The Financial Services and Markets Bill 2022 has been introduced into the U.K. Parliament. Section 22 of the Bill contains a new power for the government to introduce bespoke rules on the regulation of payments, payment systems and service providers in relation to the payments that include “digital settlement assets”, which includes any digital representation of value or rights that “(a) can be used for the settlement of payment obligations; (b) can be transferred, stored or traded electronically, and (c) uses technology supporting the recording or storage of data (which may include distributed ledger technology).” The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that HM Treasury will be working to understand how distributed ledger technology could be applied to a U.K. sovereign debt instrument. [Read more at Gov.uk]

What can CBDC designers learn from asking potential users? Results from a survey of Austrian residents

The Österreichische Nationalbank (ONB) published a paper that summarizes the results of a survey of 2006 Austrian residents about their central bank digital currency (CBDC) design preferences and their likelihood of using a digital euro. Respondents were satisfied with the existing payment options, and only about half expressed at least some interest in a digital euro. In terms of CBDC design, high importance was placed on security against fraud and theft, but less than a third considered privacy important. [Read more at the ONB]

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  [Register here]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220718)

Reconciling the Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker with My Tabulations

The Atlantic Council publishes a CBDC Tracker that aspires to be the definitive record of publicly announced central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects. However, it publishes with headline numbers that are significantly higher than those implied by my retail and wholesale CBDC tabulations. The Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker recently reported that 105 countries were exploring, whereas I count 86 central banks that are authorized to issue CBDC.

I’ve plodded through their graphic and I think I have nailed down the most of the difference, a combination of double counting and including some central banks that, in my opinion,  are not exploring CBDC:

  • I count the Eurozone as one “country” because only the European Central Bank is authorized to issue currency there, whereas the Atlantic Council counts all nine national central banks conducting CBDC projects.
  • Similarly I count the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union as one because only the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank can issue currency there, whereas the Atlantic Council counts seven of the national central banks, although counts Anguilla separately even though they’re part of the Union.

If I follow that scheme my count would go from 86 to 101. Then there are six countries that the Atlantic Council includes that I don’t:

  • Belarus, Belize, and Senegal, where private and/or government-owned banks were piloting digital currencies with the central bank’s blessing.
  • Venezuela, where the government (not the central bank) issued the Petro, with no apparent central bank backing or involvement.
  • Fiji and Vanuatu, which were focus of a digital currency research effort by Japanese Fintech firm Soramitsu, commissioned by NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting with the blessing of the Japanese government. (Solomon Islands and Tonga were part of the project too, but for some reason were left off the Atlantic Council Tracker.)

Those would take my total to 107, but then the Atlantic Council missed five projects from my tabulation: Bangladesh, Paraguay, Qatar, Sudan and Yemen, takes it to 112, so go figure!

If anyone can help me with the reconciliation, please let me know in the comments!

BNP Paribas issues tokenized bond for EDF on public blockchain

BNP Paribas structured and tokenized a project finance bond on the public Ethereum blockchain. The proceeds were used to fund solar energy projects through Électricité de France Energies Nouvelles Reparties (EDF ENR), which helps businesses and individuals install solar panels. [Read more at Ledger Insights]

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund and George Washington University, is hosting a full-day in-person CBDC Masterclass on October 12 in Washington DC. The sessions are designed as instructional deep dives with full presentations and Q&A components.  [Register here]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220615)

Brazil’s digital currency implementation pushed to 2024

Banco Central do Brasil is reportedly pushing out its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot work from end-2022 to 2023. This is due to a workers’ strike at the central bank, which impacted the original schedule. [Read more]

Deciding on a Digital Dollar: The Necessary Steps for Canada

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) published a conference report based on an April 2022 workshop attended by Canadian and international experts (including yours truly). The discussion focused on the international backdrop and what can be learned from global leaders in CBDCs, to determine next steps for Canada and to assess the legal and regulatory changes required to support a Canadian CBDC. [Read more]

Tether Condemns False Rumors About Its Commercial Paper Holdings

Tether pushed back on rumors that the commercial paper held as USDT stablecoin reserves is 85% comprised of paper backed by (mostly shaky) Chinese or Asian firms. As of the most recent attestation report commercial paper made up about 25% of USDT’s backing, and Tether is gradually switching maturing paper into short-maturity U.S. Treasury securities. Also, Tether’s Celsius position has been liquidated with no losses to Tether, and Tether has currently zero exposure to Celsius apart from a small investment made out of Tether equity in the company. [Read more]

DeFi lending: intermediation without information?

A Bank for International Settlements (BIS) paper explores decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platforms, concluding that their current institutional features mostly facilitate speculation in crypto-assets rather than real economy lending. Due to the anonymity of borrowers, over-collateralization is pervasive, which generates procyclicality. Reliance on collateral also limits access to credit to borrowers who are already asset-rich, negating financial inclusion benefits. The paper concludes that for DeFi lending to make inroads into the real economy, it needs to tokenize real assets and rely less on collateral by developing its ability to gather information about borrowers; as such, the system is likely to gravitate towards greater centralization. [Read more]

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank is hosting a CBDC Papers Lecture Series on June 17 and 24 starting at 7am EST and running for 4 hours each day. [View list of papers and register here]

Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20220605)

Initial steps towards a central bank digital currency by the Central Bank of Brazil

This Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) note discusses the development of its central bank digital currency (CBDC). The main objective is to provide entrepreneurs with a safe and reliable environment to innovate through the use of programmability technologies, such as programable money and smart contracts. In the context of a modern payment system, already available to the Brazilian population, a full-fledged CBDC must enable new functionalities, beyond those brought by an instant payment arrangement. Therefore, the innovation tool for which the BCB envisions the greatest potential is the development of a platform for smart payments. [Read more]

Are There Compelling Reasons to Consider a Central Bank Digital Currency for the U.S.?

A U.S. Richmond Fed article examines alternative arguments for considering a CBDC for the U.S. It points out that introducing a CBDC is unlikely to substantially improve the current U.S. money and payments system. A more compelling reason to consider a CBDC is to prepare the U.S. system against future threats, especially those associated with the rise of private and foreign digital currencies. Therefore, there appears no immediate need for the U.S. to issue a CBDC, but the U.S. needs to explore the CBDC technology now for potential future use. [Read more]

Jamaica’s Senate Approves Central Bank Digital Currency

The Bank of Jamaica has been given the authority to issue CBDC with the Senate’s passage of the Bank of Jamaica (Amendment) Act, 2022 at Gordon House on June 3, 2022. [Read more]

DLT Pilot regime released: EU is preparing for tomorrow’s digital securities market

Regulation 2022/858 of the European Parliament and of the Council on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Tokenization is expected to open up opportunities for efficiency improvements in trading and post-trading processes, but EU financial services legislation was not designed with such technology and crypto-assets in mind and contains provisions that could limit the use of blockchain technology. For these reasons, the DLT Pilot Regime is being introduced to allow for such technology to flourish, while accounting for potential risks at the same time. [Read more]

Upcoming events I’m affiliated with:

The CBDC Think Tank is hosting a CBDC Papers Lecture Series on June 17 and 24 starting at 7am EST and running for 4 hours each day. [View list of papers and register here]