7 Major Central Banks Collaborate to Release First CBDC Report, Highlighting Key Principles

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), along with seven other prominent central banks, has published a report on the feasibility of issuing CBDCs to complement monetary policy. According to the 26-page document, CBDC’s should be based on foundational principles and core features that will enable the prospectus digital currencies to function effectively.

The report, which is dubbed ‘Central Bank Digital Currencies: Foundational Principles And Core Features,’ is a collaborative effort between the following:

  • Bank of Canada
  • Bank of England
  • Bank of Japan
  • European Central Bank
  • Federal Reserve
  • Sveriges Riksbank
  • Swiss National Bank
  • Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

It was published on October 9 and will mark the first of its series, given that the BIS is expected to advance the CBDC research in collaboration with central banks.

CBDC Foundational Principles & Core Features

According to the report, a functional CBDC will need to meet some criteria when it comes to the underlying principles and core features. It highlighted three principles which include;

  • Coexistence: CBDCs should co-exist with other types of money that already run today’s markets.
  • Innovation and Efficiency: Features should focus on promoting efficiency and innovation.
  • Do No Harm: CBDC introduction should not compromise the current financial or monetary ecosystems but complement them instead.

The 14 core features were, in turn, derived from these principles; some of the notable recommendations that were made include;

  • Secure and Resilient; To uphold the operational integrity of CBDC ecosystems.
  • Convenient; To enable seamless interaction with existing fiat currencies.
  • Value additional; To include the private sector and create a competitive environment for innovation.

The BIS co-chair and head of innovation hub, Benoît Cœuré, said that the newly released report would provide an opportunity to further delve into CBDC’s,

“A design that delivers these features can promote more resilient, efficient, inclusive, and innovative payments.

Although there will be no ‘one size fits all’ CBDC due to national priorities and circumstances, our report provides a springboard for further development of workable CBDCs.”

Recent months have seen a growing interest in the CBDC space; China, which piloted its digital yuan back in Q2, is now boasting close to $162 million e-RMB transactions. This initiative has particularly fueled the CBDC craze as other giant economies look to get a cutting edge.

South Korea announced this week that it will also pilot it’s ‘digital won’ in 2021, although they are yet to settle on whether a CBDC will be necessary. Likewise, the latest BIS CBDC report’s contributing members did not signal that their respective jurisdictions will be launching CBDCs.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Samsung Blockchain Wallet Adds Support For Decentraland’s LAND & MANA Tokens

Samsung, a prominent mobile manufacturer from South Korea, has added support for the decentralized Virtual Reality platform (VR) Decentraland. Samsung’s Keystore wallet with this integration is getting better with each day and more user friendly. The integration would also allow the Decentraland crypto app to work with Samsung’s crypto platform.

The integration would allow Cryptoland users to store their Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) and trade the native token LAND as well.

Decentraland, as the name suggests, is a decentralized virtual community where users can purchase and lend virtual properties using the native tokens LAND and MANA. The LAND token represents a 10×10-meter piece of virtual land in the Decentraland universe. With the latest integration with Samsung wallet, it would become more convenient and easy for the users of the platform to trade LAND tokens.

Decentraland launched in February 2020, and it has become the most significant game and NFT project to collaborate with Samsung wallet.

Samsung has shown an active interest in the decentralized space where its flagship series of Galaxy phones come with built-in wallet support. With each passing year, the firm is adding new features and integrating new tools and services to make it more user friendly and secure for its customers.

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Author: Hank Klinger

OKEx Partners With Settle Network to Offer Fiat Gateway For Latin Americans

OKEx, one of the prominent crypto derivatives exchange, has partnered with Settle Network LATAM ((Latin America) to offer fiat onboarding for Latin Americans with support for three local currencies. The crypto exchange made their partnership public on July 3rd, informing locals that they can purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum on their platform using Argentine peso (ARS), the Brazilian real (BRL), and the Mexican peso (MXN).

LATAM digital settlement network is supposedly the largest digital settlement network in Latin America. The firm’s Latamex platform has been specially developed to allow people to make crypto purchases using local fiat currencies. Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx commented on their recent partnership and said,

“One of the important goals of OKEx is to enable everyone to enjoy intermediary-free financial services by promoting the blockchain-driven economy. For that, it’s essential to lower the threshold for the exchange between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies in order to cover users in more countries and regions. The cooperation with Settle Network is of strategic significance to OKEx. Latin American users can now purchase BTC and ETH with multiple local currencies in a compliant way through bank transfers. In the future, OKEx will continue to expand the coverage of fiat currencies to allow more users to purchase cryptocurrencies more conveniently.”

Fiat Gateways Have Become Common To Drive Adoption

Fiat gateways or fiat onboarding has become quite a trend for crypto exchanges to help them expand their reach and subsequently help in broader crypto adoption. Earlier traders had to depend on utility tokens or stablecoins to buy cryptocurrencies, which at the time looked convenient but looked quite complicated for a new entrant. However, with direct bank transfers and fiat gateways, even a newbie can invest in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

OKEx is not the first crypto exchange to partner with the Latin American payment processing giants. Binance was the first exchange for making use of Settle network’s LATAM product for fiat onboarding of locals during the last quarter of 2019. The largest crypto exchange by trading volume has been expanding rapidly, availing new derivative products and services. Among these, the fiat-gateway for several countries was the talk of the town.

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Author: James W

OneCoin Ponzi Scam Allegedly Resurfaces as OneLink With Ties to Simon Le

An infamous ponzi scheme has allegedly resurfaced under a new name, and is now operated by a prominent top earner in the company. The new entity is called OneLink and is a clone of the OneCoin ponzi scheme that The Times has described as “one of the biggest scams in history” as it brought in an approximate $4 billion worldwide.

OneCoin’s collapse led to the prosecution of 98 people across the globe, although its founder, Ruja Ignatova managed to evade authorities and made off with 500 million euros of laundered funds. She remains at large since 2017.

OneLink is OneCoin’s spiritual successor and copycat clone, run by former OneCoin “captain” Simon Le (real name Le Quoc-Hung). The new company reportedly surfaced on March 5th, 2020 under the domain “onelinknetwork.” Although he does not appear on the website, screenshots of a video presentation made by Le were posted by behindmlm.com that ties him to the new company.

Le has a sordid history with OneCoin and is believed to have joined the company during its inception. As a Vietnamese national, Le made most of his money by luring numerous victims in Vietnam into the organization, which quickly promoted him to the upper echelons of OnecCoin. He is alleged to have continued to promote the scheme even after the company’s Sofia offices were raided by Bulgarian police in 2018.

How much Le managed to steal from victims is unknown. He is reportedly hiding out in either Vietnam or Dubai – neither of which have extradition treaties in the US to face punishment for his involvement in OneCoin.

How OneLink works is as follows. The company offers no products or services, but people can promote OneLink’s affiliate program to others in order to earn commissions. The scheme has numerous aspects to its total compensation plan, which rely on recruiting others to fill an affiliate’s “downline.” Affiliates earn a recruitment commission of 10 percent as well as a residual commission via a binary compensation structure. A further matching bonus can be earned from an affiliate’s downline.

OneLink offers additional perks as part of being a top earner of the ponzi. People can reportedly earn a Rolex watch, a gold Rolex watch, or a ‘special reward’ for reaching the illustrious ‘Crown Diamond’ status inside the organization. Membership prices for OneLink start from $40 in USDT and can range up to $5,000 depending how much one is willing to invest.

The new ponzi directly copies OneCoin in many aspects from its compensation structure to the ‘services’ that are provided to affiliates. Most of the features have simply been renamed or rebranded under OneLink, such as its education package, e-commerce platform, trading platform, and charity scheme.

As a further stab in the back to the original OneCoin victims, Le offers them an “exclusive program” in exchange for being part of his new organization. Participants can redeem their old accounts for points in the new ponzi – but only if they first hand over more money to Li for the privilege.

A final remainent of OneCoin can be found in the new platform’s return projections, which was a core recruiting tactic of getting new people in the scam. Just as with the former, OneLink gives wholly unrealistic and made up numbers under its ‘OLX Internal Value Roadmap’ for how quickly the ponzi will grow in size before it either implodes or is shut down by authorities.

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Author: Matthew North

Blockchain Analysis Firm Chainalysis Looks to Expand Its Network With Partnership Program

Chainalysis, one of the prominent blockchain analytics firm is looking for new partners to expand its reach in the decentralized space. The firm has launched a major partnership program in order to expand its operational base and also enhance its intelligence capabilities.

Chainalysis has made a name for itself through its various investigating and monitoring tools which have been utilized by government agencies and private firms alike. Chainalysis tools are majorly used to monitor the movement of funds and transaction to trace whether the transaction is being done for illicit activities.

In the recent past, Chainalysis has partnered with major crypto exchanges and blockchain firms, especially after major countries, have taken a stricter regulatory stance. The firm has also published several important research pieces be it the movement of stolen funds from major crypto exchanges or movement of funds from scam associated wallets.

The Goal Behind Recently Announced Partnership Program

Jason Bonds, the chief revenue officer at Chainalysis explained that the new program is aimed at several categories of collaboration with different types of firms and institutions. The key areas of focus would include collaboration with compliance firms with whom their investigative tools can be easily integrated. These firms would cover the base expanding the use of Chainalysis tools.

The second major focus would be on the distribution partners which include several existing markets where Chainalysis is active and also newer domains to expand the reach. Bond also identified two key distributors in the form of Carahsoft, an IT service provider who is working with the federal as well as state institutions in the US, and M.Tech, a Singapore-based cybersecurity firm currently active in the Asia Pacific region.

Rayson Lim, the chief financial officer at M.Tech noted the importance of such partnership programs and how the demand for such blockchain monitoring tools. He said,

“In the APAC marketplace, we are noticing increased demand from law enforcement for cryptocurrency investigative software. Our partnership with a top tier company like Chainalysis will help fill this demand.”

The third key factor for Chainalysis would be to expand its own intelligence capabilities and refine their data to ensure better results. In order to do that, they are looking to collaborate with data providers in the area of ransomware which has been the biggest nuisance in the decentralized space.

Chainalysis promises to reveal every detail of the partnership program and plans to create a partner directory which would be publicly available to make sure every aspect of its program is transparent.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Intermex Walks Back Announcement, They Won’t Be Using Ripple In Core Markets Like Mexico

International Money Exchange (Intermex), one of the most prominent remittance companies in the world, made the announcement that it won’t be using Ripple its cryptocurrency XRP for its core markets like Mexico.

The news comes quite a big surprise, seeing that in early 2020, Intermex closed a partnership with Ripple. The company’s executives conducted a conference in order to respond to the question of how Ripple and XRP will be used in the future.

Intermex Focuses Mostly on Latin America

The partnership between Intermex and Ripple was announced at the beginning of last month. Many speculated that Intermex, which focuses mostly on Latin America, will integrate XRP into their services in Mexico and other countries in the area for faster remittance payments. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. This is what Intermex’s CEO, Robert Lisy said about the matter specifically:

“Ripple will not be an answer for places like Mexico. We’re very proud about the relationships we have there . . . we have very tight relationships that strategically setting plans and objectives with those players. And so you won’t really see us leveraging Ripple in our core markets.

I think it will bring us more growth in newer markets in places where we’re exploring going into ancillary products.”

Ripple’s Supporters Are Frustrated

Ripple supporters from Latin America are frustrated seeing that Intermex has rapidly grown as a company after they went public back in 2018. In 2019, it had moved over $16 billion, and not to mention, expanded its services to Africa and Canada. This means the future looks bright for Ripple’s RippleNet and XRP while things are moving ahead, but not yet for South America.

The Remittance Market is Flooded by Cryptocurrency

Intermex and other similar companies are wise to try and explore the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, as they can be revolutionary for international transfers in terms of speed and cost.

According to estimates, 15% of remittances from all over the world involve crypto, not to mention a rise in this percentage is expected in the upcoming years, even if crypto for remittances takes place mostly in the developing world, where people are looking for an alternative to national fiats, which are more and more unstable.

Crypto enthusiasts have been long saying that blockchain assets like Bitcoin (BTC) are going to close remittance companies. This doesn’t mean Intermex and its competitors shouldn’t look for other alternatives too.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Coinbase, Regal, and Kingdom Trust Partner To Offer Bitcoin IRA & 401k’s Backed by $200M Insurance

Coinbase, known as the most prominent U.S. based crypto exchange, has recently started a partnership with the investment firm Regal Assets and the custodian Kingdom Trust. With the new partnership, the three companies will offer individual retirement accounts (IRA) and 401(k) accounts for clients based in the United States.

In case you are not familiar with the terms, a 401(k) account is a qualified retirement savings plan that is often paid by an employer while an IRA is paid by the individual.

According to a recent press release, the companies will offer the investors access to over 30 different cryptos via Coinbase. The investments will be insured by Lloyd’s of London.

Tyler Gallagher, the CEO of Regal Assets, said that the clients will have the power to make their own decisions about how to invest, but they can also receive guidance from account managers that will aid them to do the best possible choices. At the moment, popular assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), XRP, EOS, Ethereum (ETH), Tezos (XTZ) and Litecoin (LTC) are among the offerings.

The decision of entering this industry came at a time in which crypto companies are starting to focus on the area. Recently, Genesis Capital also decided to offer IRA investments, for instance. Other companies, such as Bitcoin IRA, do it for longer, with its services dating back to 2016 and having over 4,000 clients so far.

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Author: Hank Klinger

BCH Supporter, Roger Ver Insists Bitcoin (BTC) is Not Censorship Resistant, Citing Fiat Conversion

On Friday, November 8, 2019, Roger Ver, who’s popularly known as ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ and who is a prominent supporter of Bitcoin Cash [BCH], has recently made a tweet that bashes Bitcoin’s censorship-resistant nature reports U.Today.

The following is the tweet itself:

As per the news outlet, one of the main problems that Ver has with Bitcoin [BTC], which at this point everyone is aware of, is its lack of scalability. Given its volatility and the time it takes to complete a transaction, the giant isn’t always viewed as a preferred payment method. However, this hasn’t stopped anyone from using BTC.

One particular Twitter user, @SEgbuhuzor commented:

“I have checked all the news about businesses accepting bitcoin, almost all use a payment processor that immediately converts the bitcoin paid by the customer and pays the business fiat currency?”

It was further noted that if the aforementioned did not hold, it is simply because they do not accept Bitcoin. On the whole, it seems like people are taking Ver’s comment lightly given that BCH too has concerns that need to be dealt with.

Besides the scalability concern, the driving force that left Ver pursuing BCH is BTC’s block size. BCH’s fast and cheaper transactions was what he preferred, which is also supported by merchants.

This isn’t the first time that Ver made a comment regarding whether or not Bitcoin is censorship-resistant.

At the time, he said:

“If Bitcoin is about censorship resistance, then BTC has already failed by censoring its community.”

This is made in reference to how the r/bitcoin platform works. Once again, no one took note, stressing that this shouldn’t have made it to Twitter given that the notion of ‘censorship resistance’ only applies to transactions.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Bithumb Chain is Releasing a New ‘Exchange-as-a-Service’ to Allow Users to Create DeFi Apps

Bithumb, a prominent South Korean crypto exchange, has recently announced its new “exchange-as-a-service” platform, which is powered by the company’s own blockchain tech, Bithumb Chain. The product was announced this week and the idea is to allow the users to create their own decentralized finance applications using it.

Right now, the platform is still being tested and the official testnet will be live by the end of the year, with the launch of the mainnet some months later.

The co-founder of Bithumb Global, Javier Sim, said that the new blockchain ecosystem will feature a consensus model that can be deemed as really revolutionary, the OBFT hybrid consensus mechanism. He did not share any more specifics on it, though.

Other representatives from the crypto company affirmed during the announcement that Bithumb will patent the mechanism. However, there are plans to make the technology open-source at some point in the future.

With this new project, the crypto exchange wants to capitalize on its new technology to offer a wide variety of services to its customers. One of the most interesting services would be to let the users create their own decentralized exchanges. This way, they would trade on a platform that would cater to their tastes using the technology provided by the firm.

Obviously, it is clear that the ecosystem will have a big competition. Other chains such as Ethereum, Binance Chain, EOS and Tron are also pretty popular right now, so a real effort has to be made to offer something that the other companies are not really offering at this time if the company is to stand out in the crowd.

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Author: Silvia A