Bank of Japan Appoints Top Economist to Head Up CBDC Research Team

The Bank of Japan has appointed its top economist to lead a team tasked with accelerating its research into central bank digital currencies (CBDC). According to a July 31 Reuters report, Kazushige Kamiyama’s appointment may mark a shift away from the bank’s previously cautious nature on digital currencies. Kamiyama had previously led the bank’s efforts to use big data for conducting econometric analysis in real time. According to Reuters, this proved helpful when the Japanese economy was hit by the coronavirus epidemic earlier this year.  Stepping up the pace of…

Dollars on Blockchain ‘Better Than Central Bank Monopoly on the Payments System’

Brian Brooks, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency and former head of Coinbase’s legal department, put forward blockchain as better than the United States’ current bank-dependent payments system. Decentralization for future payments On July 29, Brooks spoke with Aaron Klein of the Brookings Institution, a major U.S. think tank. In answer to hypothetical platforms for a future five-year term as Comptroller — Brooks is, at this point, in a liminal state as acting comptroller — Brooks emphasized decentralization: “I’m a believer in decentralization. At the end of the day, I…

Mastercard Exec Accused of Money Laundering Cover-Up at Bank With Ties to Wirecard

Controversial German payments processor Wirecard — the issuer of several crypto debit cards — has been implicated in a new report on alleged criminal activities by a Mastercard executive operating at the troubled FBME bank in Cyprus. In 2014, the United States’ Financial Crime Enforcement Network had banned U.S. financial institutions from dealing with FBME after the bank was accused of being used to “facilitate money laundering, terrorist financing, transnational organized crime, fraud, sanctions evasion and other illicit activity.”  The allegations included facilitiating the processing of money tied to the…

“There’s a Bitcoiner In the Hen House,” Pomp Says Regarding Crypto Bank Regulation

Recent regulatory approval for banking crypto custody comes after a Coinbase alum took a prominent seat as the Acting Comptroller of the Currency for the the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC — a U.S. banking regulator.  “There’s one major change that occured over the last 60 days,” Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano said in a July 23 episode of his YouTube show, Lunch Money.  Pomp added: “Brian Brooks, who used to be the chief legal officer of Coinbase, is now the Acting Comptroller of the…

Bitcoin Rallies 5% as US Regulator Greenlights Bank Crypto Custody

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) is up 5% in the past 24 hours and currently trades at $9,600 after reaching a daily high at $9,664. The overnight increase in BTC coincides with an unexpected decision from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). On July 22, the OCC said banks in the U.S. are allowed to hold cryptocurrencies. It essentially gave the green light to bank-operated crypto custodial services. Within a day of the announcement, the cryptocurrency market surged. In tandem with BTC, Ether (ETH) also saw a…

The Bank of Lithuania Released a Cryptocurrency, But It’s for Collector

The Bank of Lithuania has released a digital, blockchain-based collector coin dedicated to the country’s Act of Independence of 1918 and its 20 signatories. Claiming a world first, the central bank says the digital coin represents “a bridge that brings together classical numismatics and rapidly evolving financial technologies.”  Issued on July 23, the new LBCOIN is intended both as a national symbol and as a signal of the bank’s strategic choice to drive innovation in the field of finance and payments. “Digital money is inevitable” Marius Jurgilas, a member of…

Bank of Korea Launches a Department Devoted to Blockchain and AI

The Bank of Korea has reportedly chosen to establish a “Digital Innovation department” through organizational reform in the second half of this year, according to the local news on July 22.  Leveraging innovative technologies for efficiency  The Bank plans to introduce a number of different technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, through the digital innovation department. The department will perform tasks such as implementing new digital technology policies and expanding the latest digital infrastructure. An official from Bank of Korea commented that:   “We will improve work efficiency by applying…

Australian Reserve Bank Blasts Money Printing: ‘There’s No Free Lunch’

Australian Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has taken a swipe at the concept of money printing, as further fiscal stimulus measures are rolled out in the country amid the ongoing pandemic. In a speech in Sydney on Tuesday, the central bank boss said the government could borrow “on very favorable terms” and said public debt was currently much lower than in many other countries. Calls for money printing are misguided he said: “There is no free lunch. The tab always has to be paid and it is paid out of…

French Central Bank Picks Accenture, HSBC and Others for Digital Euro Pilot

Banque de France has picked eight potential candidates to test the integration of a CBDC for interbank settlements, according to the announcement published earlier today. The list of approved participants includes mainstream juggernauts like Accenture, HSBC, and Societe Generale, as well as smaller crypto-focused players like Seba Bank and LiquidShare. The announcement follows the central bank’s call for applications to experiment with the use of a digital euro, which it posted in March. At the time, the institution said it would select a maximum of 10 CBDC-related applications, with “innovative…

Bank of Japan Has New CBDC Research Team But No Plans to Launch

The Bank of Japan announced on July 20 that it had formed a new team to accelerate research into the feasibility of central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The team takes over from a previous group formed earlier this year, and will also continue research work undertaken with other central banks. BoJ said it does not currently have plans to issue its own CBDC, although this could change in the future. BoJ was already conducting research into the feasibility of a national CBDC, and formed a digital currency working group with…