ConsenSys to work with SocGen-Forge on CBDC pilot project

https://eng.ambcrypto.com/consensys-to-work-with-socgen-forge-on-cbdc-pilot-project/

Blockchain technology firm ConsenSys has announced today that it is working with French multinational investment bank and financial services company Societe Generale or SocGen-Forge on central bank digital currency (CBDC) tests-as part of its ongoing CBDC project with the central bank of France- Banque de France. With regard to ConsenSys’ participation, the firm will experiment […]

The post ConsenSys to work with SocGen-Forge on CBDC pilot project appeared first on AMBCrypto.

💻🚀💎DAI vs. ETH – Should Non-Fungible Token Markets Adopt Stablecoins?

https://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/p/dai-vs-eth-should-non-fungible-token

(⬆️ Screenshot from a market on Foundation)

I was speaking with Kayvon, the co-founder of the culture stock exchange Foundation. We were discussing the pros and cons of purchasing and selling NFTs with ETH or stablecoins, like DAI. Kayvon strongly feels that using DAI is the way to onboard the masses, but I was arguing for ETH. It wasn’t long before I realized that I didn’t have a strong enough argument as to why I preferred ETH, I just did. This inspired me to examine the advantages and disadvantages of using DAI versus ETH in NFT markets.


I am extremely happy to announce the first sponsor for the Zima Red newsletter! My good friend Digital. Digital is an amazing creator that tokenizes his art and music. He is constantly on the bleeding edge and you can see it all on his website Danky.Art. Be sure to sign up for his newsletter where he sends updates on the journey of a digital artist leveraging the power of Ethereum. Sign up here – Digital Newsletter.


Why Do We Price NFTs In ETH?

When I purchase NFTs, there is a 95% chance that I use ETH. Pretty much all assets are priced in ETH terms, and I believe this is because it was the only option available when NFTs took off near the end of 2017.

In December 2017, CryptoKitties were in full swing, but there were hardly any stablecoin options to price them in. DAI had just launched in December 2017, and since ETH was working well and DAI was so new, not many people were interested in switching. I believe for this reason, people have been pricing NFTs in ETH terms ever since. 

Pros Of Using ETH

I personally like using ETH to buy certain assets because I use it as a method to acquire more ETH, i.e., buy an NFT for 1 ETH and then sell it for 1.5 ETH a few months later. This is great for me personally because I am long-term bullish on ETH appreciating in value, so I want more of it. Unfortunately, I am not a typical user because I have been involved with crypto for a long time. If we want NFTs to become widely adopted, we must recognize that not everyone will be bullish on cryptocurrencies, or especially bullish on ETH.

Cons Of Using ETH

The clear issue with using ETH to buy and sell NFTs is its price fluctuation. Here is an ETH price chart from the past 90 days.

https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/ethereum

In just the past three months, ETH went from ~$200 to ~$400, and is now around ~$350. This price fluctuation is clearly a massive issue for mainstream adoption. It’s tough to explain to someone new to crypto that the price of an NFT is around $100 right now, but could be totally different by tomorrow. 

Pros Of Using DAI

The clearest benefit of using DAI for trading NFTs is its price stability. If I have an NFT for sale in DAI, everyone knows exactly how many dollars the NFT will cost today, tomorrow, and even next month. This price stability is essential for markets to form. As consumers, we already must make decisions on which product to buy, so adding in crazy price fluctuations does not make those decisions any easier. DAI is also totally decentralized like ETH, so users do not have to worry about their transactions getting halted for whatever reason.

Cons Of Using DAI

The cons of using DAI really boil down to awareness and accessibility. More people know about ETH than DAI. It’s very easy to obtain ETH from most exchanges, while DAI is not as accessible. I will caveat this by saying that DAI has gotten much easier to access with the recent explosion of DeFi, so maybe this con will eventually no longer be relevant. 

Conclusion

With all that being said, I personally still prefer using ETH for NFT investing in my pursuit to acquire more ETH. But I do completely understand that in order to bring on the masses, we might need to use DAI or other fiat-denominated stablecoins. There is no way we can onboard millions of people into the NFT space if the money they use to purchase goods is moving up and down on a daily basis. Going back to the original genesis of this blog, Kayvon from Foundation feels so strongly about DAI’s superiority that he wrote a great blog detailing why, which I suggest to anyone who wants to learn more about why Foundation is built on DAI. 

If you liked this content, please subscribe to my newsletter Zima Red, and give me a follow on Twitter. Stay tuned for more articles on NFTs and all things virtual. 😎

JPMorgan’s stablecoin finally sees commercial light of day

https://cointelegraph.com/news/jpmorgan-s-stablecoin-finally-sees-commercial-light-of-day

JPMorgan Chase now recognizes blockchain’s profitability and has created a new business dedicated to digital currency and blockchain work.

A year-and-a-half after it was first announced, JPM Coin — JPMorgan Chase’s in-house stablecoin — is now live and in use by a major transnational tech firm for round-the-clock cross-border payments.

According to a report on Oct. 27, this real-world proof that the technology is increasing efficiency and reducing costs has bolstered the megabank’s confidence in the technology’s promise and profitability. With the expectation that further commercial clients will sign up to use the stablecoin, JPMorgan has created a dedicated business devoted to digital currency and blockchain work.

The new business unit, dubbed “Onyx,” has over 100 staffers and is being led by Umar Farooq as CEO. Takis Georgakopoulos, JPMorgan’s global head of wholesale payments, told reporters:

“We are shifting to a period of commercialization […] moving from research and development to something that can become a real business.”

On the heels of PayPal’s recent embrace of crypto, incumbents’ confidence that blockchain can actually make them money appears to be on the rise. JPMorgan’s experimentation and development with the technology thus far can be broken up into several key areas.

First, the megabank has been piloting a blockchain-based Interbank Information Network since 2017, involving over 400 participant banks and corporations. JPMorgan believes that the network, now being rebranded as Liink, can bring significant efficiency savings for the complex interactions of corresponding banks in cross-border wholesale payments. JPMorgan itself accounts for cross-border wholesale payment flows of over $6 trillion per day, across over 100 different countries.

The bank has also identified blockchain’s usefulness to innovate the existing, outdated system for processing “hundreds and millions” of paper checks. Blockchain and digitization can, securely, banish the physical aspects of this exchange altogether. Georgakopoulos said that a new blockchain system is months from commercial launch:

“Using a version of blockchain with the participants being the main issuers of checks and the main operators of lockboxes, it’s possible we can save 75% of the total cost for the industry today, and make checks available in a matter of minutes as opposed to days.”

Lastly, JPMorgan has confidence in blockchain for the creation of new payment rails for global central banks and their evolving central bank digital currencies. Pointing to China and Singapore, Georgakopoulos expressed his confidence that the probability of CBDC adoption is “very high.” 

The new CEO of Onyx gave his insights as to why developments have appeared “slow,” or at least equivocal, on the blockchain front at JPMorgan until now:

“If you think about blockchain, we are either somewhere in the trough of disillusionment or just beyond that on the hype curve. That’s why at JPMorgan we’ve been relatively quiet about it until we were ready to scale it and commercialize it.”

DeFi Growth & Stablecoin Surge Most Bullish Crypto Development: DCG State of Crypto 2020 Survey

https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/defi-growth-stablecoin-surge-most-bullish-crypto-development-dcg-state-of-crypto-2020-survey/

39% of the respondents that involve 150 portfolio companies see DeFi as the most bullish crypto development of 2020, as per the DCG Founders survey “State of Crypto 2020.”

The sector has seen immense growth in 2020 and continues to hit new highs; just today, a new record was set of $12.5 billion TVL.

The founders surveyed said notwithstanding the price of DeFi tokens, which have been tanking hard until very recently, “the protocol development and business growth of 2020 bodes well for the industry’s future.”

What has been the most bullish crypto industry development this year?
DCG Survey: What has been the most bullish crypto industry development this year?

DeFi is followed by “BTC resilience” and “Stablecoin surge,” which makes sense given that the market cap of fiat-backed crypto has shot up past $12 billion this year.

​“The growing demand for stablecoins in Latin America, and Argentina specifically, is due to the fact that buying dollars as a form of savings is a regular monthly habit for middle-class Argentinians, due to cyclical devaluations and loss of trust and credibility in the Argentinian peso,” said Sebastian Serrano, CEO of Ripio, an Argentinian digital asset exchange, and payments company.

​Still, respondents were split on whether Ethereum, which is the center of it, will remain the dominant transaction-based blockchain. 51% still believe the second largest network will find scalability faster than new blockchains develop a community.

Adoption Drivers & Greatest Risks

What macro development will have the greatest impact on digital currency adoption?
DCG Survey: What macro development will have the greatest impact on digital currency adoption?

Other findings of the survey revealed “global recession” (24%), “inflation” (19%), and “hunt for yield” (18%) as the main macro crypto adoption drivers. However, the smart money adoption won’t be bringing new highs for BTC price in the next 6-12 months as per the majority.

Only 20% think during this period, BTC will surpass $20,000.

Where do you think the BTC price will be in 6-12 months?
DCG Survey: Where do you think the BTC price will be in 6-12 months?

Meanwhile, nearly six in ten respondents expect industry consolidation, resulting from big players buying smaller ones to limit competition to accelerate, particularly in the exchange and wallets & custody spaces.

However, the industry’s greatest risk remains the same; compliance and regulation as per 51% of the respondents.

“It’s really important that we start to see some consistency and coordination across regions,” said Simone Maini, CEO of Elliptic, a blockchain forensics, and analysis company, “there are still plenty of opportunities for regulatory arbitrage at the moment, where businesses are trying to operate in jurisdictions with looser regulations.”

Other factors that impede sustainable growth involve theft/hacks/scams (22%), investment crunch (12%), and technical obstacles (8%).

Overall, in 2020, four in five rated their company’s performance against expectations as “outperformed” or “neutral” while having COVID/remote work, third party delays, and fundraising as the main business challenge.

The post DeFi Growth & Stablecoin Surge Most Bullish Crypto Development: DCG State of Crypto 2020 Survey first appeared on BitcoinExchangeGuide.

The Top Five Ways the Dai Stablecoin Is Used Around the World

https://blog.makerdao.com/the-top-five-ways-the-dai-stablecoin-is-used-around-the-world/

As a decentralized, borderless, and composable digital currency pegged to the US Dollar, Dai has many benefits and a vast range of use cases. Worldwide, people  generate the Dai stablecoin or purchase it to use for everything from international remittance and inflation protection to e-commerce and gaining access to the newest DeFi products and services.

Dai’s versatility has enabled MakerDAO to become a blockchain project that is well on its way to “crossing the chasm”—experiencing meaningful and substantial adoption both within and beyond the immediate crypto community. As of this writing, almost a billion Dai have been generated and put to use in many ways, but primarily in the following five areas:

  1. Inflation protection and savings
  2. DeFi products and services, and the enormous opportunities they offer
  3. Gaming
  4. Digital art
  5. E-commerce

Let’s explore how Dai is used most today—and why it fits these user needs so well! 

1. Inflation Protection and Savings

Many early cryptocurrency adopters were motivated to explore the technology due to economic turbulence experienced in their countries. While certain national currencies are highly stable and desirable, they are not always easy to access. Dai, however, can be purchased on various exchanges or generated from several forms of crypto collateral by anyone, and then held or transferred easily anywhere in the world. As a user-created decentralized stablecoin, Dai has no centralized issuer or administrator. As long as users hold their Dai in a software wallet, such as Metamask, they maintain total independent control of their funds. 

Dai has become extremely popular in Latin America and other regions where national currencies have experienced significant volatility. In fact, Dai has become Argentina’s most popular crypto by exchange volumes—ahead of even Bitcoin—due to concerns over hyper-inflation. As of mid-August, Argentina’s 12-month inflation rate was over 40%. Dai is also popular in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, all of which are experiencing economic difficulties.

Dai stablecoin is a top cryptocurrency used throughout Argentina.
Dai is the most popular cryptocurrency in Argentina.

2. DeFi

Dai is the most-used cryptocurrency in the DeFi space, and no discussion of Dai use would be complete without acknowledging how the stablecoin is a major staple of DeFi growth and vibrancy. 

Dai’s composability means it can readily be plugged into almost any DeFi application (dapp) on the Ethereum platform. Dapps enable anyone with an internet-connected device to gain access to financial products and services the likes of which are typically only available through traditional intermediaries. The most popular dapps include peer-to-peer interest rate protocols (colloquially referred to as lending protocols) and decentralized exchanges which are software platforms  that enable peer-to-peer digital asset trading without middlemen. As DeFi grows, Dai should continue to be heavily relied on in current and yet-to-be created Dapps.

One top way the Dai stablecoin is used is in DeFi dapps developed by the Maker community.
The Maker ecosystem includes DeFi dapps developed by members of the Maker community.

3. Gaming

Many gamers are very comfortable with the concept of digital ‘currencies’—valuable items and collectibles that are traded seamlessly through what have become highly sophisticated in-game economies. But while trade within those economies might be smooth, moving funds in and out of systems when a game allows can be slow and expensive, depending on gamers’ locations and banking arrangements.

As a borderless currency that anyone in the world can quickly transfer and store, Dai is the ideal token for the gaming world. Unlike centralized game currencies, no company can devalue Dai or discontinue its wider use. Dai is a stable unit of account controlled exclusively by the people who hold it.

Dai has been integrated into many popular games, including Axie Infinity, Forgotten Artifacts, and Marble Cards.  

A top use case for Dai is in the gaming sector.
In the Axie universe of digital pets, players benefit from Dai integration.

4. Digital Art

One very exciting emerging use case for Dai is as a currency of payment for digital art. More and more digital artists are embracing blockchain technology by using one-of-a-kind, limited-supply blockchain assets called non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to represent their original singular works and series.

While typical digital image files can be copied endlessly, NFTs are unique and prove provenance and ownership. Authentic art can be sold at auction, transferred, and traded on the secondary market by artists and collectors, all with the security provided by the blockchain.

NFTs also enable some truly imaginative applications. For example, Async.art’s layered, programmable art allows buyers to influence the look of a piece. Async also recently opened its first art auction for Dai.

Dai has also been integrated into other popular art platforms, including:

One exciting emerging use case for the Da stablecoin is as a currency of payment for digital art.
Artist Olive Allen’s “Cruel Summer Bears” are being sold exclusively for Dai.

5. E-commerce

E-commerce has certainly come a long way since the early days of Amazon and eBay, yet the industry still lacks efficient global payment processes. But cryptocurrency is changing that. An estimated $4 billion worth of bitcoin was sent through payment processors in 2019, and today Dai is providing its own unique set of benefits for merchants. For example, shop owners that accept Dai payments can do so easily, without worrying about chargebacks, volatility, or payment processor fees. 

Coinbase Commerce, which launched in early 2018, makes it easy for businesses to accept Dai and other crypto payments via Shopify and WooCommerce integrations—and 8,000 stores have already done so. Today, it’s also possible to spend Dai online and in physical stores using Dai-powered debit cards linked to Visa and Mastercard networks.

Dai: The Most Popular Decentralized Stablecoin

Dai continues to carve out exciting use cases in both the blockchain sector and the real world, making meaningful differences in the lives of its users. The decentralized, borderless, and transparent nature of Dai fosters the development of new products and services for the community to explore, adding value to the broader Maker ecosystem and driving further global adoption of the Maker Protocol in the process.

Explore some of the many applications and use cases for Dai in the Maker ecosystem!

The post The Top Five Ways the Dai Stablecoin Is Used Around the World appeared first on Maker Blog.

Line Builds A Platform For Developing CBDCs

https://www.cryptonewspoint.com/line-builds-a-platform-for-developing-cbdcs/

Line, a Tokyo-based messaging giant, is building a platform for developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

It has been reported by the South Korean news agency the Chosun Ilbo that Line aims to support the development of a so-called “customized CBDC.”

However, the messaging company is discussing the application of its blockchain-based CBDC platform with several central banks in major Asian countries.

Line executives said that they cannot disclose the exact countries that are considering the platform’s application.

Likewise, a Line spokesperson said:

“The firm aims to provide a blockchain platform that is fit for CBDCs based on Line Blockchain.”

The report said that Line has been actively exploring the crypto and blockchain industry. In August 2020, it launched a blockchain development platform for decentralized applications and services and a digital asset wallet named Bitmax.

Earlier this year, Line’s crypto subsidiary LVC Corporation launched trading of its proprietary cryptocurrency Link (LN) in Japan.

Thus, a number of Asian countries are making plans for their own CBDCs.

Source: Cointelegraph


The post Line Builds A Platform For Developing CBDCs appeared first on Crypto News Point.

Philippines’ central bank isn’t ready to pull the trigger on a CBDC

https://cointelegraph.com/news/philippines-central-bank-isn-t-ready-to-pull-the-trigger-on-a-cbdc

The central bank wants to learn from private-sector digital currencies — but still believes they are inferior to central bank money.

Philippine central bank governor Benjamin Diokno has announced that the institution’s “exploratory” study of central bank digital currency study suggests that much more work is needed to make a digital peso a reality.

During the summer, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had confirmed it was investigating the feasibility and potential policy implications of issuing its own CBDC, or digital counterpart to the physical peso.

In a press briefing, Diokno reportedly rejected the possibility that a CBDC could be issued any time in the near future. The study so far has suggested that ongoing research is needed to look into capacity-building and the creating of networks between other central banks and financial institutions. 

So far, the bank’s study has covered basic issues surrounding CBDCs, focusing on implications for monetary policy, legal frameworks, payments and settlement systems, financial inclusion, and regulatory oversight.

The governor has said that CBDC research at the BSP could benefit from a study of the business models of private-sector digital currencies in the Philippines, as well as the use of industry sandboxes. The central bank plans to look into how to improve the country’s existing payment system and to draw upon other central banks’ CBDC research worldwide.

CBDC research in the Philippines has emerged against the backdrop of the central bank’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, which aims to switch over 50% of retail payments into digital form by 2023, and to ensure that 70% of citizens have a bank account by the end of the period.

Ongoing CBDC research could require technical input from the International Monetary Fund and Bank of International Settlements, in the BSP’s view. 

The central bank remains committed to the view that CBDCs are superior to private digital currencies, and has indicated that its digital innovations will continue to evolve within the existing structure of fiat currencies. 

Circle’s new partnership will bring USDC stablecoin to Solana blockchain

https://eng.ambcrypto.com/circles-new-partnership-will-bring-usdc-stablecoin-to-solana-blockchain/

With several blockchains integrating the USDC stablecoin last week, crypto payments tech firm Circle announced today that it would now make the dollar-backed stablecoin available for the Solana blockchain, after partnering with the firm. According to Circle, Solana, the blockchain behind decentralized exchange Serum, supports up to 50,000 transactions per second (tps).  This surpasses Ethereum’s […]

The post Circle’s new partnership will bring USDC stablecoin to Solana blockchain appeared first on AMBCrypto.

Ethereum ‘Killer’ Solana Adds USDC Stablecoin in DeFi Push

https://decrypt.co/45751/solana-ethereum-usdc-stablecoin-defi

The Centre Consortium, which was founded by payments platform Circle and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, announced today that it’s making Solana an official blockchain for its USDC stablecoin.

That means that USDC—already integrated with Ethereum and Algorand (and about to be integrated with Stellar)—is coming to Solana, a blockchain interested in attracting decentralized finance users looking for a network with higher speeds and lower costs than the second-largest crypto network by market cap, Ethereum. It’s one of the reasons that Solana, among many other blockchain networks, has earned the moniker of potential Ethereum “killer.”

To make the most of the USDC-Solana integration, Circle is partnering with crypto trading firm Alameda Research, crypto derivatives exchange FTX, and Solana-based decentralized exchange Project Serum to help put the USDC-SPL token in traders’ hands at the jump.

“It’s the fastest, cheapest stablecoin in the world, and will help bring that power to Serum,” said FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, referring to USDC. “Both FTX and FTX US will be supporting USDC-SPL through exchange deposits and withdrawals and their OTC desks, with Alameda committing to provide deep liquidity in it.” 

Solana is a blockchain network that touts its inherent scalability, claiming to be able to handle up to 50,000 transactions per second compared to Ethereum’s 15 or so. Last summer, Solana raised $20 million in a funding round led by Austin-based Multicoin Capital. In April, the blockchain began adding stablecoins to its network, including the largest stablecoin by market cap Tether, and has made several moves since to better position itself to take on Ethereum in the DeFi sector.

Circle Chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire thinks the Solana blockchain is a good fit with USDC, referring to it as a decentralized solution with “throughput that rivals most centralized financial market infrastructure.” 

Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko concurred, seeing the integration as a way to further reach into the decentralized finance sector, which allows crypto users to access loans and earn interest on holdings.

And while it first started making stablecoins available earlier this year, Solana clearly had its sights on USDC. Centre introduced USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, in 2018. It’s now the second-largest stablecoin in reported market cap, at $2.7 billion, behind only Tether. That represents over 500% growth in the last year—moving in tandem with what is now a $10+ billion market for decentralized finance products.

Solana Builds Bridge to Take DeFi Pressure off Ethereum

“USDC is the lifeblood of the DeFi ecosystem and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome USDC to the Solana community,” said Yakovenko. “We’ve seen a flurry of inbound interest from teams looking to build DeFi products on Solana recently, and a trusted stablecoin like USDC is a critical building block for many of them.”

In addition to the obvious—people can easily use the USDC stablecoin on the Solana blockchain—the partnership will bring other benefits in the form of APIs so that other products—wallets, exchanges, and custodians, for example—can “support nearly instant cross-chain swaps of USDC.” 

It’s not the first DeFi play for Solana, which recently launched Wormhole, a bridge to Ethereum that allows projects to jump onto Solana if/when Ethereum becomes too congested or costly. 

It’s holding a hackathon for Wormhole development on October 28, with $250,000 in winnings at stake. The judges and speakers include not only Yakovenko and Fried, but also Aave founder Stani Kulechov, Compound founder Robert Leshner, and Multicoin Capital co-founder Kyle Samani.

New Zealand is in no hurry to issue CBDC

https://www.cryptopolitan.com/new-zealand-no-hurry-to-issue-cbdc/
  • Financial authorities in New Zealand do not plan to issue CBDC.
  • The central bank is broad-minded regarding finance and technologies.
  • Cash is still in demand in New Zealand.

New Zealand financial leaders do not plan to issue a central bank digital currency, or CBDC reports a central bank executive.

The nation down under has “no imminent plans” to do so, says Christian Hawkesby, assistant governor at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ).

In a speech on 19th October, the assistant governor revealed that the bank is open to suggestions regarding finance and payment technologies and has looked into CBDC.

Hawkesby stated the advantages of cash, asserting that they “have so far been not well replicated by electronic money.” Other virtues of visible money include offline backup payments and privacy.

The assistant governor is not alone in his approach. Jay Powell, United States’ Federal Reserve chairman, stated on 19th October that the U.S would not circulate an online dollar until he is fully aware of user security. Plus, cash is still sought-after in the U.S. It is also highly desired in New Zealand, which has seen a rise in its circulation.

Cryptocurrency in New Zealand

Last year, the Pacific nation became the first country to legitimize cryptocurrency wages. The country ordered that the crypto should be able to change into a normal form of payment. However, the decree prohibits the self-employed from changing their earnings to cryptocurrency.

The south hemispherical nation does not have stringent rules on blockchain. Cryptocurrencies are allowed in the country as long as its purpose is legal. According to the Financial Markets Authority, cryptocurrency activities could be deemed financial services. This comes under the “fair dealing” stipulation in the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013.

New Zealand’s central bank has approved Bitcoin’s use for economic functions, but it is forbidden from issuing visible money.

US Not in Race With China to Issue CBDC

https://news.8btc.com/us-not-in-race-with-china-to-issue-cbdc

The U.S. has made its stance clear on the country’s intention regarding the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC): the world’s largest economy is not in a race to issue a digital version of the U.S. dollar and will do it when deemed appropriate. The clarity was presented by the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, at a panel discussion of digital payments hosted by the International Monetary Fund about a week after China, the acclaimed major front runner for a CBDC, completed a big phase in their digital yuan testing.

“We do think it’s more important to get it right than to be first and getting it right means that we not only look at the potential benefits of a CBDC, but also the potential risks, and also recognize the important trade offs that have to be thought through carefully,” Powell said at the event on Monday October 19. “We will have lots of conversations with industry and stakeholder engagement, and that’ll help us in our work on digital currencies and cross-border payments.”

Since China started testing the digital version of its currency as well as promoting its digital currency electronic payment (DC/EP) project for over a year, there have been critical discussions as to likely outcomes of China going solo on this initiative and how the US would respond to a somewhat competitive challenge between the two top economies particularly in the emerging technologies space.

There have even been suggestions that China’s pursuit of being the first major economy to issue a digital yuan – fueled partly by Facebook’s proposed issuance of Libra stablecoin last year – is part of a coordinated effort geared towards cutting back on the US dollar dominance as China spreads its economic tentacles globally particularly through its Belt and Road Initiative and exercises more control over its citizens’ spending.

Meanwhile, the disclosure by Powell – as the highest ranked official on fiscal policy matters in the U.S. – suggests that the U.S. dollar’s strength as a global reserve currency used by companies and central banks worldwide is a major factor for their special need to be cautious on the matter.

“There are a number of ways that a CBDC might improve the payments system, and it is mainly this area that motivates our interest,” Powell said. “We have a responsibility both to the U.S. and to the world that any steps taken for a U.S. digital currency be taken safely…”We’re absolutely committed to the soundness of the dollar into safe and efficient US dollar payment systems” which he says relies on the “reliable rule of law, strong and transparent institutions, deep financial markets and an open capital account.”

While he maintains that the Fed is open to collaborating with the private sector on a possible digital U.S. dollar but has not committed to actually launching its own digital currency, he also said that they “are committed to carefully and thoughtfully evaluating the potential costs and benefits” of a CBDC for the U.S. economy and payments system. The Fed is moving ahead with its plans to get the FedNow system running for real-time payments among financial intermediaries by 2023 or 2024.

In another development, the U.S. now recognizes Distributed Ledger Technologies, the technology that gave rise to Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, as one of the 20 technology areas that its departments and agencies “identified to the National Security Council staff as priorities for their missions” as part of a “Critical and Emerging Technologies list.”

Japanese messaging giant Line developing CBDC platform

https://cointelegraph.com/news/japanese-messaging-giant-line-reportedly-working-on-cbdc-platform

The platform would aid central banks in Asia with developing a central bank digital currency.

Line, a Tokyo-based subsidiary of the South Korean internet search engine company Naver, is building a platform for developing central bank digital currencies, South Korean news agency the Chosun Ilbo reported on Oct. 19.

Sources familiar with the matter reportedly told Chosun Ilbo that Line aims to support the development of a so-called “customized CBDC.”

The messaging company is discussing the application of its blockchain-based CBDC platform with several central banks in major Asian countries, according to the report. Line executives said that they cannot disclose the exact countries that are considering the platform’s application.

A Line spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the firm aims to “provide a blockchain platform that is fit for CBDCs based on Line Blockchain.”

Line has been actively exploring the crypto and blockchain industry. In August 2020, it launched a blockchain development platform for decentralized applications and services and a digital asset wallet named Bitmax. Earlier this year, Line’s crypto subsidiary LVC Corporation launched trading of its proprietary cryptocurrency Link (LN) in Japan.

A number of Asian countries are making plans for their own CBDCs. On Oct. 9, the central bank of Japan officially announced that it will start a CBDC proof-of-concept in 2021. On Oct. 7, the South Korean central bank reportedly claimed that it will begin the distribution phase of its CBDC pilot scheme next year.

Leaders of global CBDC projects talk shop in panel today

https://cointelegraph.com/news/leaders-of-global-cbdc-projects-talk-shop-in-panel-today

Central bank digital currency interest continues gaining global traction.

As part of DC Fintech Week, a digital conference on the governmental side of the financial technology sector, several international leaders gathered for an Oct. 19 panel called: Central Banks, CBDCs and Cryptoeconomics. 

“I don’t see technological barriers in this area, but I do see technological challenges,” Cecilia Skingsley, First Deputy Governor of Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, said on the panel.

“The challenge is not so much technology in itself, but it’s more about — we have to choose what sort of policy objectives do we want to focus on, what is the problem we want to solve,” she explained. “Depending on what that is, and the purposes we want to serve, then you choose the technology after that.”

The panel saw discussion between four separate authorities on various aspects of CBDCs, including the global race toward toward such a currency, as well barriers. In addition to Skingsley, the panel hosted BIS executive committee member Benoit Coeure, Bank of England deputy governor Jon Cunliffe, and former U.S. CFTC chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. 

As far as the Bank of England is concerned, Cunliffe explained cash as a cumbersome part of the economy. “Physical cash is no longer convenient,” he said. “It’s becoming increasingly inconvenient for people to use in their everyday lives, and the COIVD crisis has accelerated that,” he added. “On the other hand, it’s becoming increasingly less acceptable to merchants for some of the same reasons, even merchants that are able to take physical cash.”

Giancarlo specifically pointed out the competitive atmosphere around launching a CBDC, noting that winning the race is not the most important point — sentiment U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell also recently expressed

“If there’s a winner, I don’t think the winner is necessarily who’s first and the loser is necessarily who’s last,” Giancarlo said during the panel. “What matters is, which central bank successfully incorporates its societal values in a successful development of CBDC,” he explained. “On the other hand, one can’t be too late to the game here,” he added. 

Mentioning a report from the BIS from January 2020, Coeure reminded the audience that a large number of the world’s central banks consider CBDCs a worthwhile research effort. China has notably charged forward with its CBDC development in 2020.