Bank of France Launches Experiment Program on Central Bank Digital Currency

As a number of global jurisdictions like the Bahamas and Sweden are already testing their central bank digital currencies (CBDC), French central bank is getting more straightforward regarding its own CBDC plans. The Bank of France is now officially launching a program of experiments to test the integration of a CBDC for interbank settlements, inviting potential participants to submit their applications. Bank of France doesn’t insist on blockchain implementation for CBDC According to a March 30 document, France’s central bank is calling for applications to experiment with the use of…

IMF Weighs the Pros and Cons of a Central Bank Digital Currency

In a recent keynote speech to the London School of Economics, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang, briefed the positives and negatives of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Zhang pointed toward greater efficiency and lower costs associated with a CBDC. “In some countries, the cost of managing cash can be very high on account of geography, and access to the payments system may not be available to the unbanked, rural, or poorer population,” he said in the Feb. 28 speech, which hit the web on March…

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s CBDC Could Beat China to the Punch in 2020

The race for central-bank digital currencies has been on for some time now, and since the development of the digital yuan may have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, other countries could beat China to the punch. Almost exactly one year ago, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and Bitt Inc. — a financial-technology company based in Barbados — signed a contract to conduct a blockchain-powered CBDC pilot within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, an organization composed of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.…

Russia’s Central Bank Seeks to Ban Crypto Issuance and Circulation

After years of uncertainty about its cryptocurrency regulation, Russia is further confusing its proposed crypto law as the country’s central bank made yet another statement on the issue. According to a legal executive at the Bank of Russia, the country’s major but still unfinalized cryptocurrency legislation — a bill “On Digital Financial Assets” — will ban the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies. Alexey Guznov, head of the legal department at Russia’s central bank, revealed the news in an interview with local news agency Interfax on March 16. Issuance and circulation…

Central Banks Are Exploring Blockchain — but For Their Own Reasons

Despite the interest shown in decentralized ledger technology by central banks, cryptocurrencies continue to be mistrusted by the traditional financial system. This has been made apparent from comments by Andrew Bailey, the upcoming governor of the Bank of England, when addressing members of the United Kingdom Parliament at a Treasury Select Committee hearing on March 4. He stated: “If you want to buy Bitcoin, be prepared to lose all your money… [Bitcoin] has no intrinsic value.” Despite this, seemingly convoluted efforts to “appropriate” the technology like the launch of the…

Coronavirus Rate Cuts: Australia’s Central Bank Did It First

Hours before the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) also cut interest rates in hopes of curbing market reaction to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. In a meeting held on March 3, the RBA announced it would be cutting the cash rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 0.50 percent, its lowest on record, according to recent figures. Several hours later, the U.S. Federal Reserve also took action to cut interest rates by half a percentage point, between 1 and 1.25 percent, in its first emergency measure since…

No Central Bank Digital Currencies Focus on Cross-Border Payment

Cross-border payments do not appear to be a priority as countries all over the world to engage with their own digital currency projects, a new report says. While global governments are competing to become the first country in the world to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), no CBDC project really focuses on cross-border payments, according to a new study released by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). No ongoing global CBDC projects explicitly focus on cross-border payments The BIS’ new CBDC revelation is part of the bank’s quarterly…

BIS Paper Reckons With P2P Payments, Tokenized Securities, Central Bank Digital Currencies

Researchers at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are grappling with the future of payments – so much so that their newest quarterly report, released Sunday, is entirely dedicated to what that potential revolution holds. In its 138-page look at what lies beyond the financial horizon, the Swiss-based institution reckoned with coming trends that may well shape tomorrow’s payments infrastructure: tokenized securities, central bank digital currencies, cross-border payments and peer-to-peer innovations.   BIS Head of Research Hyun Song Shin said “the pace of change and potential for disruption” have made examining…

Central Banks May Lose Payments Race to Tech Companies

Bank of England (BoE) chief cashier Sarah John has expressed opinions favoring state-issued digital currencies, according to a Feb. 22 article published by The Telegraph. She urged other central banks to consider developing central bank cryptocurrencies in response to recent moves from private companies’ in the digital payments sector. John stated that it is “really important” to consider that central banks think about” central bank digital currencies [CBDCs] “as an option” in responding to major tech companies’ efforts to develop stablecoins. The BoE official warned that inaction may result in…

‘Crucial’ for Central Banks to Consider Digital Currencies: Bank of England Exec

The Bank of England’s (BoE) chief cashier, Sarah John, has said it is “crucial” that central banks research digital currencies so they can strike a balance with private issuers. John said it was “really important” BoE and other central banks considered whether digital currencies could form the basis of a new payment system and, if so, “quicken the pace” on determining how to regulate the new asset class. The BoE needs to consider its position on the technology to ensure the U.K. has “a broad range of payments that it…