China’s central bank sets out digital currency plans

PBOC official pushes for centralized state digital currency — Coindesk — “Unlike most cryptocurrencies, the CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency] might not operate via a peer-to-peer mechanism, which brings the key features of anonymity and untraceability… Transactions using CBDC will be visible to the central bank, which would function as a third party to bring oversight on potential money laundering and illegal financing.”


Bank of England puts a hold on research into issuing its own digital currency

Bank halts crypto-currency plans over stability fears — FT Adviser — “The Bank of England (BoE) has been researching the possibility of launching its own digital currency to rival bitcoin, but fears about the impact on the wider financial system means it has no ‘current plans’ to do so… If the central bank launched a digital currency of its own, it worried consumers would stop using commercial bank accounts and, instead, have a bank account with the Bank of England, and choose to use digital technology to purchase goods and services over paper money.”


Israel considers issuing a digital currency to speed up payments

Israel central bank mulls issuing digital currency for faster payments — Reuters — “The Bank of Israel is examining issuing digital currency as a means of creating a faster payments system as well as reducing the amount of cash in the economy, a central bank source said… The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the government was ready to legislate or include the issue in its 2019 budget and economic package if the central bank gave the green light.”


Australia’s central bank explores the issue of electronic banknotes

An eAUD? — Reserve Bank of Australia — “An electronic form of banknotes could coexist with the electronic payment systems operated by the banks, although the case for this new form of money is not yet established… The issuing authority could issue electronic currency in the form of files or ‘tokens’. These tokens could be stored in digital wallets, provided by financial institutions and others. These tokens could then be used for payments in a similar way that physical banknotes are used today.”


Bank of Canada reports on the potential of digital currencies

Central Bank Digital Currency: Motivations and implications — Bank of Canada — “This paper addresses the question of whether a central bank should issue digital currency that could be used by the general public. It begins by discussing the possible motivations for a central bank to issue a digital currency. The paper then sets out a benchmark central bank digital currency (CBDC) with features that are similar to cash. The implications of such a digital currency are explored, focusing on central bank seigniorage, monetary policy, the banking system and financial stability, and payments.”


Central bank begins digital currency pilot in Uruguay

Uruguay to launch digital currency, ‘not Bitcoin’ it stresses — Bitcoin.com — “Uruguay’s Central Bank (BCU) formally presented rollout of its pioneering digitization of the Uruguayan peso on 3 November 2017… The plan ‘consists of a test with 10,000 mobile phone users of Antel,’ the release notes, ‘which will last for six months’ and be international… Registered users will be able to interact with merchants as well as peer-to-peer in money exchanges.”


Russia to issue state-backed CryptoRuble digital currency

Russia issuing ‘CryptoRuble’ — Coin Telegraph — “Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially stated that Russia will issue its own ‘CryptoRuble’ at a closed door meeting in Moscow, according to local news sources. The news broke through Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov. According to the official, the state issued cryptocurrency cannot be mined and will be issued and controlled and maintained only by the authorities.”


Germany’s central bank reports on potential of blockchain for payments

Bundesbank sees benefits in blockchain technology — Deutsche Bundesbank — “The Bundesbank’s experts see little prospect of DLT [distributed ledger technology] being put to widespread use in the field of individual and retail payments given the current state of the art… They see more potential for DLT in payments beyond the European currency area… There is currently no realistic prospect of central bank-issued digital currency being rolled out in the foreseeable future.”


Bank of England examines the technical requirements of central bank-issued digital currencies

Beyond blockchain: What are the technology requirements for a central bank digital currency? — Bank Underground — “What type of technology would you use if you wanted to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC) ie a national currency denominated, electronic, liability of the central bank? It is often assumed that blockchain, or distributed ledger technology (DLT), would be required; but although this could have some benefits (as well as challenges), it may not be necessary.”


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