Reserve Bank of India ‘exploring the possibility’ of a digital currency

Less than a year after the Indian supreme court overturned the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on crypto businesses, and the bank’s position on digital assets is looking slightly more bullish. According to a booklet on payments released today by the Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, the bank is “exploring the possibility as to whether there is a need for a digital version of fiat currency.” The bank added that if it found a need, it would look into ways to put digital currency into use. The RBI booklet acknowledged the…

Bahrain central bank licenses Sharia-compliant crypto exchange

CoinMENA, a soon-to-launch cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain, has obtained a license from the Central Bank of Bahrain, or CBB. The newly acquired “Crypto Assets Services Company License” allows CoinMENA to operate fully as a regulated crypto exchange and onshore platform, the company announced on Jan. 24. The CBB’s license ensures that CoinMENA meets all of the operational, technical and security requirements set by the central bank. As CoinMENA plans to roll out its services in the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, countries — including…

Bank payments going global with stablecoins and CBDCs, Jan. 15–22

Editor’s note It may be too late for resolutions and too early for Lent, but lacking any discrete occasion I would still like to give up U.S. political news for a while, or at least for the duration of one Law Decoded.  Fortunately, in the spirit of going international and leaving the bonkers election cycle of the U.S., blockchain technology and stablecoins are playing a major role in the latest developments in cross-border payments and settlements. It’s long been one of the most talked-about applications of blockchain technology. Diplomatic scheming…

The ‘central bank of central banks’ is building a CBDC settlement platform

CBDC research has been announced as a top priority for the Bank for International Settlements’ Innovation Hub, or BISIH, in 2021. According to its annual work program, BISIH, plans to “explore the feasibility of faster and cheaper cross-border payments” using central bank digital currencies. BISIH also stated it will explore prototypes of “tiered retail CBDC distribution architectures” and distributed ledgers to issue “tokenized green bonds to retail investors.” The BIS initiatives will be driven by the Innovation Hub Centres in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Switzerland — which have been established…

Top Russian bank Sberbank plans to launch its stablecoin by spring 2021

Sberbank, the largest state-owned bank in Russia, has reportedly filed an application with the Bank of Russia to launch a blockchain platform for its “Sbercoin” stablecoin. Sergey Popov, director of the transaction business at Sberbank, announced the news on Jan. 21 at a local financial event Russian news agency Interfax reports. At “Digital transformation and prospects for regulating the digital economy,” Popov said that Sberbank applied with the central bank in early January, explaining that the registration procedure usually takes no longer than 45 days. As such, the bank may…

Long Bitcoin, Short Dollar Trades “Most Crowded,” Says Bank of America Survey

A survey of investment managers with over $500 million under management shows the majority are bullish on Bitcoin and stocks but expect the dollar to succumb to inflationary pressures.  A Bitcoin, Risk-On Investment Environment  The result of the fund manager’s survey revealed that investors are highly optimistic about the recovery in the global economy, despite rising COVID-19 numbers. The percentage of fund managers that expect positive tidings in the stock market is the highest in 11 years.  Further, Bitcoin has beaten technology stocks, which held the top spot since October…

Bitcoin overtakes tech as most crowded trade, says Bank of America survey

In another throwback to the 2017 bull market, a major United States bank fund manager survey, or FMS, has put Bitcoin at the pinnacle of positive investor sentiment. According to Reuters, 36% of respondents identified a long Bitcoin bet as the most crowded trade ahead of long tech in a Jan. 2021 survey from Bank of America. January’s report marks the first time that ‘long tech’ has not been number one in BofA’s fund manager survey since Oct. 2019. The result also marks a steady increase in positive investor sentiment…

Bank of France settles $2.4M fund in central bank digital currency pilot

The Bank of France successfully piloted a central bank digital currency — or CBDC — experiment in December, using the technology to settle monetary fund shares on a private blockchain platform for the first time. As announced by Le Banque de France on Jan. 19, the pilot commenced on Dec. 17, and saw 2 million euros ($2.4 million) worth of simulated shares purchased and sold by investors using a CBDC. The pilot took place with distributed ledger technology provided by SETL — a UK-based regulated blockchain services provider, which also…

Cream Finance leaps into DeFi ‘corporate debt’ with Iron Bank launch

The Cream Finance project, a lending protocol that recently merged into the Yearn ecosystem, announced the upcoming launch of its Iron Bank feature, a name inspired by the once-popular TV show Game Of Thrones. Cream’s Iron Bank is an attempt to create a decentralized finance equivalent of corporate debt. The announcement, released on Thursday, explains how the market for peer-to-peer lending in traditional finance, worth $70 billion, pales in comparison with the world of corporate credit, with $10 trillion in loans outstanding. To create a similar industry in DeFi, Cream…

Anchorage granted US’s first national crypto bank charter

Custody pioneer Anchorage is the first crypto firm to see a charter from the U.S. national bank regulator. Per a Wednesday announcement from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Anchorage will have conditional authorization to operate as a trust institution nationally. The charter is the first of its kind, part of an idea of a “fintech charter” stretching back to the Obama years, but which has been accelerated under the leadership of Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks, formerly of Coinbase’s legal team.  Per the announcement, Anchorage’s continued charter will…