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Yu Weiwen: The central bank's digital currency has greater potential at the wholesale level

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Eddie Yue, stated that Hong Kong and Asia are actively promoting central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and the Monetary Authority is testing retail applications while there is even greater potential for wholesale applications. CBDCs can help solve long-term pain points such as inefficient and expensive cross-border payments, and the wholesale CBDC sandbox will be launched in mid-year. Yue believes that Hong Kong's green finance ecosystem is sound and that Hong Kong should not only mobilize funds to connect with Hong Kong's climate transformation, but also assist the transformation of the mainland and Asia. The financial challenges of transformation are great, and Hong Kong is focusing on classification and guiding banks towards transformation, emphasizing that climate transformation requires the joint efforts of new development banks, regulatory agencies, and investors.

US Republican push for anti-CBDC bill could undermine support for stablecoin bill

According to a report released by investment bank TD Cowen, the "CBDC Anti-Surveillance Act" proposed by Tom Emmer, the majority whip of the US House of Representatives last year, may be voted on together with the long-awaited stablecoin bill, which could undermine bipartisan support for the stablecoin bill because Democrats generally believe that the value of central bank-issued cryptocurrencies should be explored at least. Senior leaders of both parties have been negotiating the stablecoin bill for many years. Previously, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said that the central bank has "far from" made any suggestions or adopted CBDCs.

Riksbank announces the results of the fourth phase of CBDC: using account balances for offline CBDC payments

The Swedish central bank has announced the results of the fourth phase of its electronic krona central bank digital currency (CBDC), which focuses on offline CBDC payments using account balances. In the previous phase, the central bank tested token-based offline payments, which it deemed feasible but with high security requirements. The usability of certain types of offline payments was affected by this.

UDPN launches digital currency sandbox

Universal Digital Payment Network (UDPN) has launched a digital currency sandbox for commercial banks and central banks. UDPN was launched at Davos last year and is committed to achieving interoperability of digital currencies (including stablecoins and CBDCs). After collaborating with over 25 global commercial banks, central banks, and technology companies, the network has launched a sandbox where members can learn about digital currency technology, test built-in use cases, and develop their own new custom use cases. Commercial and central banks have a secure environment to control and provide licensed access to other institutions in their ecosystem. The sandbox has a range of digital currency technologies, including retail CBDCs, wholesale CBDCs, tokenized deposits, stablecoins, dedicated currencies, as well as securities and bond tokenization systems. It also includes a complete retail CBDC system for banks to test quota management, issuance, circulation, third-party access APIs, as well as wallet and transaction management.

VanEck Advisor Urges Countries To Adopt Bitcoin Instead of CBDCs in Response to BRICS Announcement

VanEck's advisor, Gabor Gurbacs, has suggested that countries should adopt Bitcoin instead of rushing into Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in response to the recent announcement by the BRICS nations. The BRICS announcement focused on the creation of an independent payment system based on digital currencies and blockchain technology. However, Gurbacs emphasized the advantages of Bitcoin, such as its scarcity and decentralized nature, over CBDCs. He also highlighted the potential advantages of early adoption of Bitcoin, suggesting that nations stand to gain from embracing the crypto. The BRICS announcement signals a concerted effort to explore alternative monetary systems, with a focus on digital technologies and blockchain.

Russian CBDC has 25,000 transactions so far

At a meeting of the Association of Russian Banks, the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia provided an update on the latest developments of the digital ruble. So far, 25,000 transactions have been conducted, with 19,000 of them being person-to-person payments and the rest involving consumer-to-business payments, with approximately 3,500 payments involving smart contracts. Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina added that testing is progressing as planned. Currently, 19 banks, including Russia's largest bank Sber, have conducted trials, but expansion is still needed. In terms of functionality, the central bank will introduce dynamic QR code payments, support online payments, and transfers between businesses. It also plans to develop smart contract functionality. Elvira Nabiullina also said that the progress of regulated digital assets (DFA) in Russia is smooth, and legislation allowing DFA to be used for cross-border payments has been passed by the State Duma.

Bank of Japan Governor: The issuance of central bank digital currency must undergo national discussion

Governor Ueda gave a speech at a financial technology event co-hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Finance and Nikkei News in Tokyo, stating that the Bank of Japan has been committed to building a CBDC system since April last year, including conducting commercial simulations of the digital yen. Unlike common virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, CBDC is a digital currency issued by the central bank, and major central banks including South Korea are conducting various reviews. During the CBDC review process, we will outline a future vision of a payment system suitable for the digital society, and we need to balance our thinking between the global and Japanese perspectives. The use of data may improve convenience for consumers and create new value. Regarding privacy infringement and money laundering issues, he stated that even if there are currently no problems, we need to imagine what problems may arise in the future.

Republican Senators Introduce Legislation to Block CBDC in the US Over Privacy Concerns

Republican senators have introduced a new bill called "The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act" aimed at preventing the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the U.S. They argue that the Biden administration is eager to infringe on citizens' privacy by surveilling their personal spending habits. This is not the first time Republicans have tried to block the introduction of a CBDC. The Federal Reserve is currently only in the basic research phase and would require signoff from the White House and an authorizing bill from Congress before moving forward.

Deloitte survey: African institutions cool on crypto. CBDC benefits evolve

A Deloitte survey of African financial institutions found a marked cooling in attitudes towards cryptocurrencies by banks, insurers and other institutions. Only 30% see an opportunity, down from 63% the previous year. However, the previous survey was just before the FTX crypto exchange collapsed. The latest was between August and October last year, before the recent uptick in activity.
Deloitte survey: African institutions cool on crypto. CBDC benefits evolve

ECB: CBDC will not have negative impact on banks

Three senior executives from the European Central Bank (ECB), including board member Piero Cipollone, stated that retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will not have the negative impact on banks that many have predicted.