Sweden Is Testing Its New Central Bank Digital Currency

The country of Sweden has begun testing an e-krona, bringing it that much closer to the proper release of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The pilot program will be in operation for one year, until February 2021. If and when the e-krona formally launches for use by the public, the idea is that this blockchain-powered currency would drive conventional payments and banking activities throughout the country. Instead of swiping a credit card or spending fiat currency, everyday transacting can move to the blockchain. CBDCs are a hot topic these…

HSBC to Drop 35,000 Jobs and Invest in Digital Finance

In an earnings call held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, an HSBC executive revealed the bank plans to cut 35,000 jobs by the end of 2022 and invest more in digital systems.  The plan for HSBC in the next three years is to cut down on staff and branches and simplify the operation by investing in technology. Noel Quinn, group chief executive added in the earnings call that:  “In Retail Banking, we will expand our products offering and increase our investment in digital. We’ll refocus our Retail Banking presence to serve…

Policymakers Shouldn’t Fear Digital Money: So Far It’s Maintaining the Dollar’s Status

CoinDesk columnist Nic Carter is a partner at Castle Island Ventures, a public blockchain-focused venture fund based in Cambridge, MA. He is also the cofounder of Coin Metrics, a blockchain analytics startup. On May 9th, 2019, Representative Bradley Sherman, member of the House Banking Committee, made an impassioned speech in Congress about cryptocurrency. In his speech, the mask typically worn by policymakers slipped: his words betrayed the threat that cryptocurrencies pose to the state.   “An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the dollar is the standard unit of international…

DeCurret Partners with KDDI to Test Digital Currency

As the origin of cryptocurrency, Japan often leads the way when it comes to joint projects between companies in different fields, united by their desire to lead the pack in innovation. E-commerce giant Rakuten partnered with the East Japan Railway Company on June 5 to promote a cashless payment system.  A new collaboration is in progress between the Japanese telecom giant KDDI and crypto exchange DeCurret. According to a Feb. 18 press release, the two companies — in collaboration with au Financial Holdings and WebMoney — will conduct a joint-project…

BitGo Gains Entry to Digital Securities World Through Acquisition of Harbor

Digital asset custodial company BitGo recently unveiled its purchase of Harbor, an online platform for digitized securities.  “Our vision has always been bigger than wallets and custody,” BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said in a Feb. 18 statement provided to Cointelegraph. “Acquiring Harbor furthers BitGo’s vision of building a new digital infrastructure for financial services.”  Harbor’s website is also promoting the acquisition in a banner at the top of its homepage.   BitGo’s acquisition includes several others Picking up Harbor also means BitGo gains control of the platform’s daughter companies, which include…

Japan Uneased by Chinese CBDC, Plans on Digital Yen in ‘2 to 3’ Years

China continues to pull ahead in the central bank digital currency race as more details on its secretive digital yuan project intermittently surface. As a result, more countries are beginning to worry about the potential implications. Over the past few weeks, a number of Japanese lawmakers have publicly expressed their preference for a CBDC controlled by the Bank of Japan. The general idea is to counter the soon-to-be-released digital yuan from neighbouring China and prevent it from disrupting the global economy. According to a senior ruling party lawmaker, the development…

Bahamas Digital Dollar to Roll out Across All Islands in H2 2020, Governor Says

While major industry actors argue that central bank digital currencies (CBDC) are years or decades ahead, the Bahamas plan to adopt a CBDC no later than 2020. John Rolle, the governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB), has reportedly confirmed that the Bahamian digital dollar initiative will be introduced across all islands in the second half of 2020. Bahamas has already launched a pilot in the Exuma region According to a Feb. 13 report by local publication The Tribune, Rolle has presented the plan addressing a Bahamas Chamber…

Need for a Digital Dollar is an “Extremely Important Discussion”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wasn’t the only one to make waves at the U.S. Senate this week when it came to the future of currency. Tom Cotton, a Republican senator from Arkansas, spoke at length regarding digital currency while addressing the cameras and a nominee for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Judy Shelton: “We need the digital currency a little bit less I would argue internally, but rather to help preserve the primacy of the dollar worldwide.” When asked how she would protect the dollar as a reserve currency…

Trump’s Fed Nominee Judy Shelton Says US Should Be Proactive on Digital Dollar

Judy Shelton, President Trump’s nominee to the Federal Reserve Board, told lawmakers that digitizing the U.S. dollar could help maintain the currency’s ascendancy in global commerce.  At her Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, Shelton said the U.S. needs fintech innovation to keep ahead of other countries.  “Yes, it is a dominant reserve currency but we can’t rest on our laurels in that regard,” Shelton said. “Rival nations are working very diligently to have an alternative to the dollar. I think it is very important that we get ahead of the curve…

Novogratz’s Crypto Investment Firm Galaxy Digital Shrinks Workforce 15%

Galaxy Digital, the cryptocurrency merchant bank founded by Wall Street veteran Michael Novogratz, has laid off 13 people, roughly 15 percent of its workforce, people familiar with the situation said. The layoffs occurred across the board in early January, and all of the New York-based firm’s business divisions – asset management, trading, principal investments, and advisory services – were left intact. In other words, no business line was singled out or discontinued. Nearly 80 people remain on staff. The company is hiring for several open positions, one source close to…