German Central Bank Official: CBDC Proposal is More ‘Political Strategy’ than Technical Decision

A popular figure in the German central bank has said the decision to launch a digital Euro is more politically motivated than the technical value proposition. Burkhard Balz was speaking at the Europe-Asia conference where he made the remarks. These sentiments coincide with a spike in CBDC interest, especially in Europe, where the ECB has zeroed in on the possibility of a digital Euro in recent months.

According to Balz, this move would be more politically motivated, given the fiat domination dynamics when it comes to reserve currencies. He went on to suggest a more detailed assessment based on this opinion,

“Introducing CBDC is a political decision rather than a technical decision. Therefore, a comprehensive conceptual analysis and assessment of CBDC relative to alternative options is necessary – especially in terms of the fulfillment of our mandate, but also regarding its impact on society as a whole.”

Nonetheless, he also highlighted the need to move swiftly, given the current progress to maintain Euro confidence if a virtual monetary policy shift is inevitable. Balz believed that a collaborative international approach would yield better results in developing seamless ecosystems to support global payment networks’ growth.

As for the risks associated, Balz mentioned that a CBDC could set precedence for ‘digital bank runs’ in a situation where these digital assets are held as a store of value instead of being used for payments. On the issue of stablecoins, he was adamant that they should be issued with the blessings of monetary bodies and regulatory authorities,

“I believe that it is in the interest of the global central bank community that new payment arrangements, like stable coins, with potentially global reach, should only be offered if appropriately regulated and supervised.”

With such ongoing discussions, it might not take long before a particular jurisdiction officially launches its own CBDC. Currently, China’s digital yuan is the most progressive in the pilot phase for a couple of months. Other Asian giants like Japan and South Korea are planning to follow suit with their pilot CBDCs scheduled for next year. Europe has also filed for a digital Euro trademark as discussions hit upon its viability.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Euro’s Dominance at Risk of Replacement by Digital Yuan in the Next Five Years: dGen Report

The Euro might be overtaken by China’s digital Yuan as soon as 2025 if the European Union will not have launched a CBDC by then, highlights the latest research report by German-domiciled think tank, dGen. This release which was published on September 9 focuses on the ramifications a major CBDC on the Eurozone as well as the potential of a digital Euro to be ahead of the pack.

As the crypto industry comes of age, regulators have found themselves at a cross-road in the creation of oversight mechanisms. Well, China which began research in this space as early as 2014 recently launched its digital yuan ‘DC/EP’, sparking a hype towards the global adoption of CBCD’s. Since then, a number of central banks including the European Union have floated the idea of piloting their own digital currencies.

The EU progress on CBDC’s has, however, been criticized by prominent contributors in Europe’s blockchain ecosystem including the Head of Frankfurt’s School Blockchain Center, Philipp Sandner,

‘[The] ECB’s reaction has been too slow. Especially, the benefits from a CBDC for the industry, e.g., based on programmable money, are currently neglected. Given Libra and the DC/EP, the ECB has to react quickly to keep its geopolitical position’.

According to the report, the launch of a digital Euro would be strategic for the region to continue its global dominance as the second most held fiat reserve; only this time a digital Euro will be used instead. Consequently, the research notes that a digital Euro has the potential to transform the global economy while acting as the fundamental pillar of a virtual monetary ecosystem in the Eurozone.

U.S Dollar Still Safe!

Unlike the Euro whose odds against the DC/EP are less favorable, dGen predicts that the digital yuan will not unseat the world’s reserve currency, at least not yet. The research highlights China’s political unrest as one of the factors that could hinder its CBDC’s global adoption at level to compete with the U.S dollar. In addition, smaller nations are more likely to adopt a digital dollar as opposed to the yuan given its already established dominance and ease of access globally. The research reads,

“In the coming decade, with the launch of a digital Dollar, digital Yuan, and digital Euro, we predict that smaller nations will take the path of least resistance, and opt for using and storing the digital Dollar.”

Global CBDC Integration Could Hit 60% in the next Decade

Other predictions made by the German think tank include the possibility of a 60% global CBDC integration by 2030. As per the dGen insights, three out of five nations will have completely replaced their fiat currencies with a central bank backed digital asset by then. On this front, China and Bahamas in the West Indies Caribbean have already set a pace based on the CBDC progress within the two jurisdictions.

Last but not least, the report predicted that CBDC’s will have to co-exist with private stablecoins which have now been in the crypto space for quite a while. This is because of their value proposition in the volatile cryptocurrency market as well as the ability to circumvent authorities through blockchain tech, regardless of their position when it comes to digital assets.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Barcelona Fan Token $BAR Trading 185% Above the Token Sale Price

Spanish professional football club Barcelona sold 1.2 million euro (US$1.3 billion) worth of fan tokens in less than two hours. 600,000 tokens were sold at a fixed price of €2 ($2.24) and are tradeable on Socios.com and ChiliZ.net.

The crypto token – called BAR – was sold through Socios.com through the ChiliZ blockchain. At the time of writing, BAR has been trading at $6.40, down from the high of about $12 it hit yesterday. These are ERC-20 tokens that are minted using the ChiliZ blockchain.

With about $2.5 million recorded in trading volume, the crypto asset became the second-most traded market on the Chiliz exchange behind BTC/USD.

The token’s initial sale, which took place in 106 different countries, was oversubscribed by about 5x.

The token holders are eligible for engagement-based team rewards such as meeting players and watching games as a VIP guest by voting in club-specific polls. Already, fans can vote in the first Barca poll to choose a piece of fan-designed artwork to go inside the Camp Nou’s dressing room.

They would even launch a Leaderboard feature to allow fans to compete to become the number 1 fan in their country. Moreover, in the coming months, Games and Chat features will also be launched on Socios.com. Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO & Founder of ChiliZ & Socios.com. said,

“Football is a global game, and support extends way beyond the stadium, city, and country of the club. It’s a stat we’ve used often, but for the biggest clubs in the world, 99.99% of their support is outside the stadium.”

Barcelona is not only one of the most popular but also the wealthiest soccer clubs in the world, with more than 300 million supporters. The token, which was first unveiled in February, is designed to promote fan engagement.

Besides the fan token, ChiliZ has been working on a blockchain-based COVID-19 ‘immunity pass’ for live attendance at soccer matches. Earlier this year, ChiliZ partnered with decentralized oracle provider Chainlink and also with the MMA powerhouse UFC for sports gear and tickets.

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Author: AnTy

Italian Banking Association Wants A Digital Euro; Ready to Participate in Pilot Program

Italian Banks are ready to participate in the launch of a digital Euro according to an announcement last week by the country’s banking association (ABI). This body made up of over 700 banks said in a statement that it would be willing to speed up the roll-out of an ECB backed digital currency. Talks in the CBDC space have recently made headlines in crypto as advanced economies like France take into consideration these digital assets.

Notably, ABI was previously involved in the digital currency industry has launched a research group to look further into the assets last year. Also, an inter-bank settlement DLT initiative dubbed ‘Spunta‘ is already running in a bid to increase efficiency amongst ABI members. The ABI quoted this milestone as one of the consideration factors in their contribution towards a digital Euro.

Following the progress, Italian banks are of the view that digital currencies propose a significant value addition to the existing market infrastructure. The announcement says,

“A programmable digital currency represents an innovation in the financial field, capable of profoundly revolutionizing money and exchange. This is a transformation capable of bringing significant potential added value, particularly in terms of the efficiency of the operating and management processes.”

EU Regulations Should Be the Standard

While the ABI acknowledges an underlying value n digital assets, the association was keen to highlight that the EU’s monetary policy framework should take the forefront in any decision attributed to this space.

“Monetary stability and full compliance with the European regulatory framework must be preserved as a matter of priority.”

According to the ABI, such an approach ensures that the regulator and banking entities can maintain public trust.

Apart from Italy, the digital Euro has support from France and the Netherlands. Germany has also signaled that a programmable digital Euro would be a good idea despite FUD sentiments by the president of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, back in 2019.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Euro Exim Awarded the Best Global Trade Services Bank 2019 for its “Bold & Savvy Partnership Move” with Ripple

  • Ripple, a strong reason behind Euro Exim’s win
  • The strategic partnership “strengthens” its compliance process and ramps-up speed and efficiency

Euro Exim Bank, a global financial solution that focuses on facilitating international trade has been announced — the second year running — the winner of the Best Global Trade Services Bank award.

“This year the judges praise the bank’s bold and savvy partnership move, enabling swift transactions, reduced liquidity and credit risks, and minimized fund transactions,”

wrote Lucy Taylor, Awards Liaison Officer.

As per the document, unearthed by an XRP enthusiast XRP Research Center, the title was awarded in late June.

Earlier this year, Euro Exim Bank announced that it is using the XRP cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.

The director of the bank, Kaushik Punjani said, at that time, that the customers’ have been traditionally restricted from settling transactions in less time and cost.

Working collaboratively, they designed, tested, and implemented both xRapid and xCurrent “in record time” and have been looking for the benefits that their customers will enjoy.

The London-based company holds a “Class A” international banking license and has earned an ‘enviable” reputation for its compliance policies, with about 40% of staff specializes in Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer processes.

Its clients include both small and medium enterprises along with larger corporations and private individuals.

The latest addition to the bank’s “financial arsenal,” it says is its strategic partnership with Ripple the XRP cryptocurrency

“developer.”

This has been apparently the first regulated bank to join the Ripple network.

This partnership “strengthens” the bank’s strong compliance process with enhanced authentication capabilities while ramping-up speed and efficiency. A strong reason behind Euro Exim’s win.

While the panel recognized the bank for its trade-tailored solutions and strong due diligence in the past, this partnership move with Ripple that enabled fast transactions got them impressed.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Partner Embedding Complex Trades within Blockchain Messages

  • Euro Exim Bank has started embedding complex trades within blockchain messages
  • B2B payments and SMEs growing at a faster pace
  • Digital Currencies remove one of the biggest obstacles to SMEs business growth

What makes digital asset unique is that “they’re universal currencies, meaning anyone can use them as units of value anywhere in the world,” says Marcus Treacher, SVP Customer Success at Ripple in his “Blockchain in cross-border payments: SMEs’ opportunity in international trade,” post.

As such he says digital assets like XRP by acting as a bridge currency and enabling real-time currency exchange can improve liquidity by removing the need to hold cash in accounts with foreign banks.

On-Demand Liquidity for International Transactions

Talking about Ripple partner Euro Exim Bank, Treacher explains how the UK SME bank, that specializes in international import and export payments, uses blockchain and XRP to provide clients with on-demand liquidity for international transactions.

This means the bank can move money as per their clients’ demands without needing multiple pre-funded currency accounts all over the world.

“In addition to this, Euro Exim Bank has started embedding complex trades within blockchain messages, allowing it to automate international trades and even further reduce the speed and costs of payments for international exports and imports,”

he shared.

Digital Currencies Remove one of the Biggest Obstacles to SMEs Business Growth

B2B payments are growing faster than C2C and B2C markets at 5 to 10% per year. And SME cross-border payments represent a significant portion of the global B2B payments market, amounting to more than $10 to $15 trillion annually.

Given the fact that SMEs also account for 60% of employment and 40% of national income in emerging markets, it is a great opportunity for financial institutions and local economies to operate in these markets.

“Blockchain and digital currencies are a great alternative to traditional cross-border payments as they offer a significantly faster, cheaper and more transparent way to move money around the world,”

Treacher said.

When poor liquidity is one of the biggest obstacles to business growth for SMEs, this is the way to empower SMEs, he said, so that they can take advantage of the growth opportunities that the global commerce market offers.

B2B Payments and SMEs Growing at a Faster Pace

Treacher further illustrated how another Ripple partner Cambridge Global Payments — a leading global provider of commercial payment solutions and Fleetcor Technologies’ subsidiary — uses XRP to facilitate cross-border payments.

By leveraging the cryptocurrency, the company was able to cut down the costs for international B2B payments and lower the attraction speed to just a few seconds.

This, however, is just a starting as according to a recent report, B2B cross-border transactions will increase by 7% by 2023, all thanks to the rise of blockchain-based payment networks.

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Author: AnTy