Bank of Japan Will Begin Experimenting With a Digital Yen

The Bank of Japan has announced it will begin experimenting with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to check its feasibility from a technical perspective. BoJ wants to digitize cash but it remains to be seen if Japan can catch up with China which has already begun testing its own CBDC. This is the first time the BoJ has revealed it would commence a Proof of Concept (PoC) process with the digital yen but the bank is yet to reveal a timetable. In a report called Technical Hurdles for CBDC,…

Sri Lanka Central Bank Selects Shortlist for Blockchain Proof-of-Concept

Sri Lanka’s central bank has selected a shortlist of three firms to develop a proof-of-concept (PoC) for a shared Know Your Customer (KYC) facility using blockchain. The project was initiated in fall 2019, according to a report from Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror on July 2. The central bank is looking to establish a blockchain-based facility that would enable the government and the banking sector to securely share and update customer data nationwide. Speaking at an event in Colombo on June 30, D. Kumaratunge — the central bank’s director of payments…

Court Likens Coinbase to a ‘Traditional Bank’ in Child Porn Appeal Case

A three-judge panel has ruled that FBI agents who subpoenaed Coinbase records to show a man had used Bitcoin to access child pornography did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights. They rejected the appeal of Richard Gratkowski, who was convicted of receiving child pornography and accessing websites with the intent to view child pornography in May 2019 and was sentenced to 70 months in prison with 10 years of probation. On June 30, the court likened Coinbase to a traditional bank, citing the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1939 decision in United…

Central Bank Rate Cuts Mean ‘World Has Gone Zimbabwe’

Bitcoin (BTC) supporters are watching as almost every central bank in the world lowers interest rates and the global fiat money supply skyrockets. Statistics compiled by Charlie Bilello, CEO of wealth manager Compound Capital Advisors, show that in 2020, 84 of the world’s 118 central banks cut interest rates. “Bitcoin cannot be printed!” Largely due to coronavirus, institutions have slashed rates by as much as 1,700 basis points, with Argentina leading the way. Israel changed the least, with a 15 basis point reduction, while Ukraine, Pakistan, Barbados and the East…

Sweden’s Central Bank Releases 98-Page ‘Economic Review’ Devoted to CBDC

Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, took a 98-page deep dive into central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, referencing the country’s own such asset — the e-krona.  “The second issue of Sveriges Riksbank Economic Review in 2020 has a special theme, namely central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and the e-krona,” Riksbank’s June 18, 2020 report said in an initial note to readers.  Sweden’s interest is not new In December 2019, Sweden unveiled intentions for a pilot program around its e-krona, in collaboration with Fortune Global 500 company Accenture. The new report from…

Bank for International Settlements Calls CBDCs a Potential ‘Sea Change’

In advance of its coming annual report, on June 24 the Bank for International Settlements released a special chapter from that report on digital payments — especially central bank digital currencies, a topic that’s attracted tremendous interest in recent months. The report encourages central banks to treat CBDCs as their future, saying: “One option at the frontier of policy opportunities is the issuance of CBDCs, which could amount to a sea change.” A recent shift in favor of CBDCs The BIS found that there had been a major bullish shift…

WhatsApp Payments Suspended by Brazil’s Central Bank

Brazil’s central bank has ordered Mastercard and Visa to suspend processing money transfers on behalf of Facebook’s WhatsApp. According to official information shared with Cointelegraph Brazil, the Central Bank of Brazil (BC) took action against WhatsApp Pay “to preserve an adequate competitive environment” and allow the central bank to assess the risks posed by the firm to the country’s existing financial sector. Visa and Mastercard will face heavy fines and administrative sanctions if they do not suspend activities relating to WhatsApp payments. Bank will assess the risks The Central Bank…

Singapore to Explore Central Bank Digital Currency With China

Singapore’s central bank and financial regulatory authority is looking to cooperate with China in the field of central bank digital money. Ravi Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS, has voiced the country’s readiness to enter into a close cooperation with China in relation to digital currencies. Speaking at a financial forum in Shanghai, Menon highlighted China’s progress in the development of its central bank digital currency, or CBDC, known as the digital yuan. Singapore, which is also actively exploring blockchain-based CBDCs, is looking to…

Bank of Thailand Launches Digital Currency Pilot Project

The Bank of Thailand announced that it plans to develop a prototype to test real-life business use cases of its central bank digital currency (CBDC). The bank said in its official statement that before it launches the CBDC payment system for all businesses, it plans to test it with large-scale enterprises.  They have partnered with the largest cement and building material provider in Thailand, Siam Cement Group (SCG), and Thailand-based fintech firm Digital Ventures Company Limited to pilot test their payment prototype system. The project is scheduled to start in…

New Head of US Bank Regulator Talks Bringing Crypto to DC With Cointelegraph

Days into his term as acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks spoke with Cointelegraph on how he hopes to update legacy systems with crypto technology. Brooks came to the OCC from a role running Coinbase’s legal team only months ago, which informs a great deal of what he identifies as areas for improvement. He took charge of the OCC only seven weeks later upon the departure of Joseph Otting.  Regarding the role of crypto in conversations in Washington D.C., Brooks noted a sea…