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CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currencies

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March 2022

US senators sound alarm over China’s digital yuan, Russia SWIFT sanctions

Nine U.S. senators are backing a bill that aims to crack down on China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-CNY or digital yuan, which they claim could allow Russia to bypass financial sanctions imposed on its banks and entities.  See related article: Digital yuan pilot attracts Chinese province bordering Russia Fast facts “If left […]

Biden pushes the U.S. on CBDCs in sweeping crypto executive order

President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged the federal government to research and develop a digital dollar in an executive order describing broader directives for a coordinated and comprehensive U.S. approach to digital assets. See related article: CBDC tracker shows U.S. falling further behind Fast facts “My Administration places the highest urgency on research and development […]

How will digital money play into banking’s future?

Blockchain technology is rapidly transforming the finance sector. DBS Bank CEO Piyush Gupta offers an insider’s look at what’s coming next.

Coinbase blocks Russian addresses; Philippines plans CBDC

US crypto exchange Coinbase has blacklisted 25,000 Russian wallet address in response to the ongoing Russian-Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile in Asia, English-language newspaper South China Morning Post announces the launch of its metaverse experience.

India’s blockchain courses ramp up to meet demand for learning

Recruiters from the public and private sectors are on the hunt for top blockchain talent. Educational institutions are catching up with customized courses.

February 2022

Digital yuan pilot attracts Chinese province bordering Russia

Heilongjiang province in northeastern China has joined the bid to compete with 10 other cities to become the next digital yuan pilot city, it announced on Monday.  See related article: E-CNY chief says digital dollar poses no threat to China Fast facts See related article: Hong Kong makes apt testbed for e-CNY cross-border use

Hong Kong makes apt testbed for e-CNY cross-border use

The city’s global reach, Hong Kong dollar and mainland ties make it a good fit for Chinese authorities to trial e-CNY international payments.

RBI is causing crypto hesitancy among Indian banks

India’s crypto tax plan was expected to bolster adoption, but the central bank’s hold on the banking sector puts a check on crypto-related services.

Collision or coexistence: Can CBDCs and crypto live side by side?

As more countries announce plans for central bank digital currencies, will that break crypto’s promise as the future of money?

Crypto is ‘not even a tulip,’ India’s central bank chief says

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said in a press conference that cryptocurrencies have no underlying value and that they are “not even a tulip,” warning investors of its risks.  Fast facts Das’s comments come just over a week after India’s central government announced a 30% taxation plan on income from crypto assets as well […]

EU to introduce bill next year to plan a digital euro

The European Commission announced Wednesday it will propose a bill in early 2023 to introduce a digital euro, according to a report by Politico. Fast facts The European Central Bank (ECB) is already experimenting with the digital euro and is expected to begin working on a prototype by the end of next year. A digital […]

China’s e-CNY pilot to boost Hong Kong as offshore yuan trading center

Upcoming digital yuan trial to piggyback on Hong Kong’s popular Faster Payment System for smoother cross-border transactions.

E-CNY chief says digital dollar poses no threat to China

China does not expect significant impact on its monetary system if the digital dollar were introduced, said Mu Changchun, director-general of the People’s Bank of China Digital Currency Initiative on Wednesday. He spoke at a panel organized by the Atlantic Council think tank to support the release of the International Monetary Fund’s report on central […]

What I learned from my role in digitizing the yuan

CBDCs are vulnerable to hacking and the powers of quantum computing, cybersecurity expert Amnon Samid writes. Central banks must heed the warning.

Indian crypto tax ends fears of ban as investors brace for impact

Top blockchain and crypto news: New Delhi’s crypto give and take. Malice in Wonderland? Hong Kong’s selective spot ETF rules.

Australian Aboriginal sovereign CBDC up and running

In a first for the country, the Sovereign Yidindji Government in Australia has issued a CBDC with its first transaction occurring this week.

India FM: RBI to issue blockchain-based digital rupee

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed at the parliament budget session on Tuesday that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue a digital rupee based on blockchain, as she proposed the issuance for financial year 2022-23. Fast facts “Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system,” the minister […]

January 2022

Five questions about the digital yuan at the Winter Olympics

All eyes will be on Beijing for the upcoming games — will China use the spotlight to officially launch its CBDC?
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Territory in northeastern Australia launches own CBDC

The Sovereign Yidindji Government (SYG) in northeastern Australia has released a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and a digital ID system on blockchain wallet network MetaMUI. Fast facts The Aboriginal people of Yidindji have lived in the territory for over 60,000 years and in 2014 established the SYG. The SYG and the Australian government, including […]

Japan must cooperate with Europe, US on CBDC, BOJ says

The Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) chief called on the U.S. and Europe to cooperate on creating a global technical standard for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Reuters reported on Friday.  Fast facts The central bank has not made a decision on the issuance of a CBDC, but has conducted experiments while deliberating on the […]

Hong Kong to pilot international trade settlement for mBridge this year

Hong Kong’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project with three other central banks and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) will enter its pilot stage this year to test international trade settlements, a Hong Kong government official said. Fast facts Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, said on Wednesday the […]

Why governments have powerful incentives to develop digital currencies

CBDCs can increase financial inclusion and prevent crime, according to blockchain expert Tiana Laurence. What’s not to like about state-backed digital money?

Regulatory uncertainty has not slowed down India’s crypto sector

With new products and services being launched and international exchanges setting up camp, crypto startups thrive despite the shadow of a crypto ban.

BIS to study DeFi for SME financing in Hong Kong

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub announced on Tuesday that its Hong Kong Center will explore this year whether decentralized finance (DeFi) can improve financing for small and medium enterprises. Fast facts In Hong Kong, the BIS has been working with central banks of China, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Thailand on […]

How to avoid regulatory pitfalls in an increasingly ‘cryptoized’ world

Crypto regulations run the gamut from wait-and-see to total prohibition. What are the dos and don’ts of smart regulation?

Zhejiang urges its cities to host the next digital yuan pilots

China’s Zhejiang wants six of its cities to compete for the next digital yuan pilots, which may open the door for the eastern coastal province to showcase the central bank digital currency (CBDC) during the September Asian Games.   Fast facts

Korea to survey crypto assets; China hunts for CBDC talent

Korea will include virtual assets in its financial survey, while China’s central bank hunts for CBDC talents.

Digital dollar leaps closer to reality with new Fed paper

Though the world’s most powerful central bank does not stake a position, its discussion paper is a big step toward supporting a future US digital currency.

Guangzhou will advance digital yuan, blockchain pilots in 2022

Guangdong Province’s 2022 Government Report says its capital city Guangzhou will become a digital yuan testbed and a blockchain innovation application pilot center in 2022.  Fast facts Guangzhou applied to become a new digital yuan pilot city in September 2021.  Guangzhou is one of the major cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). […]

No decision on digital dollar in Fed’s new CBDC report

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s report on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) released on Thursday did not contain policy recommendations or decisions on digital dollar issuance. Fast facts The paper acknowledged that the Fed will not proceed in creating a digital dollar without clear support from lawmakers, ideally through a specific authorizing law. The Fed said […]

Lack of audience won’t stop digital yuan showcase at Winter Olympics

The digital yuan is undergoing its final preparations in the leadup to the Beijing Winter Olympics, despite the expected absence of a general audience due to Covid-19 concerns.  Fast facts The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, said all payment channels for the 2022 Winter Olympics, including the digital yuan, are set to […]

Fed nominee looks to Congress for guidance on US digital dollar

The U.S. Federal Reserve is deferring to Congress to decide whether to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Lael Brainard told the Senate banking committee Thursday at her Fed vice chair nomination hearing. Fast facts Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis asked whether the vice chair nominee believed that the digital dollar should be available to […]

$1.5 billion worth of digital yuan transacted in Beijing last year

Residents in Beijing recorded 9.6 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) worth of digital yuan transactions in 2021, after several rounds of coupon-driven promotions, according to state media, citing official data.  Fast facts

Hong Kong outlines stablecoin regulation plan to check financial stability risks

Stablecoins and CBDCs will likely co-exist in the city, experts say, as Hong Kong looks to thrive as crypto hub.

Kazakhstan crypto mining fortunes falter as regime unplugs internet

Top blockchain and crypto news: Bandwidth bust in Kazakhstan. Binance chief CZ tops rich list. Digital yuan app adoption grows.

Telecoms giant China Unicom accepts digital yuan for phone bills

China’s No. 3 telecoms provider has started accepting payment for phone bills in digital yuan on its app, in the latest move by a major firm to advance the country’s fledgling central bank digital currency (CBDC) efforts.  Fast facts Since earlier this week, China Unicom customers have had the option of using digital yuan, also […]

China’s digital yuan wallet gets 16 million downloads in debut week

China’s pilot e-CNY wallet application, currently available in a dozen major cities, topped 16 million downloads in the first week after its launch, according to two data providers. Fast facts

Former CFTC chair predicts Congress will push back on SEC’s crypto regulation

Christopher Giancarlo, AKA CryptoDad, expects legislators to get comfortable with crypto in 2022 and take a progressive approach to regulation

Bored Ape NFT frenzy; Play-to-earn sustainability questioned

China’s e-CNY pilot app is ready for download as Bored Apes headline NFT frenzy.

CBDCs and the year that may reshape crypto markets

Top blockchain and crypto news: CBDCs at the crossroads. A token gesture from Samsung. NFTs survive in China.

South China’s Guangxi region looks to cross-border e-CNY trade uses

Guangxi, China’s southern provincial-level region, is researching cross-border finance, supply-chain service platforms and e-CNY applications, according to a report by local state-run media Guangxi Daily. Fast facts The Guangxi autonomous region — often seen as a gateway for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) trade — plans to support cross-border circulation of capital, according to the […]
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December 2021

U.S. will be big elephant in the room in 2022, says WEF’s Sheila Warren

While China made a big moves in banning crypto this year, US lawmakers appear to be warming up to the industry, setting the stage for next year.

Countries will jump aboard the crypto bus in 2022 or get left in its dust, says WazirX founder

Despite the looming parliamentary debate over banning private digital currency in India, the founder of Mumbai-based crypto exchange WazirX predicts thousands of new crypto startups.

CBDC tracker shows U.S. falling further behind

Of the Big Four central banks, including those of the EU, UK and Japan, only the Federal Reserve has not progressed beyond research mode in central bank digital currencies.

China’s PBOC wants to link e-CNY with Hong Kong’s Faster Payment System

Mu Changchun, director-general of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency institute, said today the central bank is working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to test cross-border payment features for the e-CNY, China’s much anticipated central bank digital currency (CBDC). Fast facts Mu said at a webinar, jointly organized by the PBOC and […]
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Japan’s central bank is urged to speed up its digital yen project

With economic security as a top priority, the Kishida administration anticipates the release of competing CBDCs.

The digital yuan’s de-dollarization

Why the Federal Reserve and other major central banks are likely to speed up development of retail CBDCs.

Crypto resilient to Omicron: Japan speeds up on CBDC

Crypto resilient to Omicron meanwhile Japan speeds up on CBDC

Investors queasy as prospect of India crypto ban returns

Top blockchain and crypto news: Are India’s CBDC plans crowding out crypto? Jack Dorsey goes full Bitcoin bro. China’s digital yuan hopes claim another victim.

November 2021

Nigeria charges ahead with CBDC deployment with 600K app downloads

In Nigeria, the eNaira — the country’s newly launched central bank digital currency (CBDC) — has already seen nearly 600,000 downloads, according to local media Nairametrics citing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Fast facts The local media reported Saturday that the CBN governor has revealed the country’s total digital transactions rose by more than […]

China’s new mobile payment rules could pave the way for e-CNY, experts say

In the long run, the new rules may ‘lay the perfect foundation’ to improve risk management, says an ICBC expert.
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Reserve Bank of Australia considers wholesale digital dollar

Interest in cryptocurrency is being driven in part by ultra-low interest rates, Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor Michele Bullock has said, while indicating the RBA is considering the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for use in wholesale markets, according to the Australian Financial Review. Fast facts Speaking at a Women in […]

What would Jerome Powell’s second term mean for crypto?

Top blockchain and crypto news: Fed nominations suggest no sudden moves. El Salvador’s Bitcoin lava affair. Dodgy dealings in China’s digital yuan.

South Korea CBDC development continues: Bank of Korea official

Bank of Korea’s (BOK) deputy governor Bae Joon-suk says its central bank digital currency (CBDC) development is “not one step behind that of any other country.” However, South Korea still has no plan to adopt a state-backed digital currency. Fast facts Bae spoke at Bank of Korea’s online conference on payment and settlement systems yesterday, […]

How will CBDCs benefit economies in Southeast Asia?

Central banks around the world are exploring digital currencies, writes Aymeric Salley of StraitsX. Here’s why Southeast Asia may be especially ripe for them.

3 teams, including ConsenSys, win Singapore’s CBDC Global Challenge

The projects topped 300 rivals in their potential to improve the future digital Singapore dollar in payment services and financial inclusion. Who were the other winners?

Africa’s first CBDC wallet hits almost 500K downloads

As central bank digital currencies begin picking up steam around the world, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced on Friday the digital wallet for its own digital currency, the eNaira, has been downloaded 488,000 times in 160 countries — in just 19 days after its launch. Fast facts According to local news reports, after President […]
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Digital yuan use surges across China with 140 million wallets as officials deny timetable for launch

China’s soft rollout of the first major economy’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) continues apace. Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, and Mu Changchun, director of the Digital Currency Research Institute of the bank, reported that the average weekly transaction volume of e-CNY is growing by 3 billion yuan (US$469 million) and […]

How Singapore is looking at Web 3.0 and DeFi as it prepares for a digital Singapore dollar

Speaking at the Singapore FinTech Festival, Singapore central bank chief Ravi Menon announces the launch of Project Orchid, a digital dollar project.

Asia-Middle East multiple CBDC bridge builds out business use cases for international payments

22 private sector finance heavyweights together with the BIS and central banks of China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and UAE aim to achieve a production-ready international trade settlement platform using CBDCs.

Report: Stablecoins, CBDCs may not resolve financial inclusion, international remittance challenges

Stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) may not live up to their promise of increasing financial inclusion and improving cross-border payments in emerging markets, according to a new report by the Bank for International Settlements. Fast facts According to the report, the most important contribution of stablecoins is that they have drawn attention to […]

October 2021

Nigeria to become 1st African country to launch a central bank digital currency

Nigeria, a country with one of the world’s highest cryptocurrency adoption rates, is set to become the first African nation to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) today as President Muhammadu Buhari formally launches the eNaira. Fast facts Nigeria’s CBDC, the eNaira, was initially scheduled to be launched on Oct. 1. The launch […]

37% of Singaporeans use or are keen on crypto for purchases — but more are uninterested: report

More than one-third — or 37% — of Singapore residents are already using or are interested in using cryptocurrencies to pay for purchases, according to the latest research from Worldpay from FIS, a payment platform. But nearly half — or 47% — of Singaporean respondents said that they were not interested in using cryptocurrencies for payments. […]

Ripple joins Digital Pound Foundation as it looks to expand its CBDC business

Ripple, a San Francisco-based blockchain payments company, has joined the Digital Pound Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the implementation of a digital pound in the United Kingdom, according to a Ripple blog post. Fast facts As a foundation member, Ripple will be represented on the board by Susan Friedman, Ripple’s head of policy. Other foundation […]

Laos hires Tokyo blockchain startup to explore CBDC

Laos enlisted Soramitsu, a blockchain company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, to explore a central-bank backed digital currency (CBDC). The Lao Central Bank and Soramitsu’s research will begin as early as this month. Fast facts The Central Bank of Laos reportedly has recently signed a memorandum with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to discuss the development […]

Hong Kong issues technical white paper on e-HKD

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on Monday released a white paper proposing potential technical architecture and design for the infrastructure of a digital Hong Kong dollar. The paper is one of the deliverables described in Project e-HKD, a feasibility study the HKMA announced in June 2021. Fast facts Hong Kong began its exploration of […]

e-CNY chat wallet launched; Korean illegal crypto transactions surge

China’s telecom giants to bring digital yuan transactions to mobile chatting boxes.

September 2021

CBDC plans advance in Nigeria, Chile, Tajikistan

Nigeria, Chile and Tajikistan have taken major steps in their plans for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), while mainland China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates explore the potential for CBDCs in cross-border payments. Fast facts The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a website for eNaira, the country’s CBDC, which will […]

How central banks are wielding blockchain in soft power competition

China’s crypto ban is part of a global battle over freedom and ideology, writes Michael B. Greenwald. How can the US lead the world in a different path?

Former US Treasury advisor predicts no ‘real action’ from Fed on CBDC

While a US digital dollar is stuck at pole position, China’s digital yuan is nearing the finish line. Michael B. Greenwald of Tiedemann Advisors explains why it matters to the future global economy.  

Bhutan to adopt Ripple’s XRP technology for CBDC pilot

Ripple’s win in Bhutan comes as it suffers a setback in a US court as judge rebuffs Ripple’s request for SEC’s internal trading decisions over XRP.

Reserve Bank of Australia posts CBDC job position

Amid the country’s ongoing Senate inquiry into crypto regulation, the Reserve Bank of Australia has posted a job advertisement for a position within its central bank digital currency research team. Fast facts A successful applicant would join a new cross-disciplinary team to research “whether there is a case for a CBDC in Australia, and if […]