Digital Currencies Could Threaten US Geopolitical Power, Warns JPMorgan
“There is no country with more to lose from the disruptive potential of digital currency than the United States.” So goes the stark warning from analysts at the U.S.’ largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, in a new report covered by Bloomberg News on May 22. The report’s authors — among them, JPMorgan’s head of of U.S. interest-rate derivatives strategy Josh Younger and chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli — wrote: “This revolves primarily around U.S. dollar hegemony. Issuing the global reserve currency and the medium of exchange for international trade in commodities, goods, and services conveys immense advantages.”
Global Central Banking Think Tank Launches Digital Monetary Institute
The Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), an independent global think tank for central banking and economic policy, announced the launch of its Digital Monetary Institute earlier this month. The Institute intends to build bridges between the worlds of digital currencies and traditional banking, and has a focus on payment instruments in wholesale and retail markets, and central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
Bitcoin Has 140 times More Daily Active Addresses Than XRP
Bitcoin (BTC) continues to lead the popularity contest among the top cryptocurrencies — but it has fewer addresses with actual coins in them than Ethereum. According to data from on-chain market analyst Glassnode, Bitcoin has almost three times as many daily active addresses as Ethereum (ETH), 11 times more than Litecoin (LTC) and 140 times more than Ripple (XRP).
Trump's Fed Nominee Advocates a Gold-Backed Currency, Even a Crypto One
President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Federal Reserve board of governors is reiterating her advocacy for the gold standard — and adding digital currency into the mix. In an interview May 20, Judy Shelton told reporters: “I don’t see it so much as returning [to the gold standard], more like ‘back to the future.’ I think that what a gold standard stands for is monetary discipline for its own sake. Money is supposed to be a unit of account, a reliable measure and a dependable store of value. It really shouldn’t be subject to who’s the chairman of the Federal Reserve.”
Report: Africa Is Bullish on Crypto Despite Infrastructure and Regulatory Hurdles
A new report published by Arcane Research shows that African countries have some of the highest cryptocurrency ownership rates worldwide. South Africa ranked third throughout the world with 13% of its internet users owning or using cryptocurrencies. Nigeria took the fifth spot with 11% of internet users owning cryptocurrencies. The worldwide average for the same stands at 7%. Indeed, as Cointelegraph recently reported, Bitcoin (BTC) trading volume in Sub-Saharan Africa broke past records posted at the heights of 2017’s rally.
Digital Euro Sees First Successful Test at the Bank of France
Per a May 20 announcement from Banque de France, France has become the first country to successfully trial a digital euro, operational on a blockchain, following a call for new technology to back such a development at the end of March The bank says it tested a sale of securities for central bank digital currency (CBDC) on May 14, signalling the beginning of more robust testing. Though the bank’s announcement did not go into great detail, it did indicate that the current pilot program is focusing on wholesale rather than retail uses for a digital euro. Retail CBDCs would operate open to regular consumers à la Bitcoin or Apple Pay.
Advances in Blockchain Drives Banks Toward Digital Currencies, Says Bank of Korea
South Korea's central bank, the Bank of Korea, has conducted new research and analysis on the progress of central bank digital currencies — or CBDCs — around the world. The bank released its “Overseas CBDC Progress Report” on May 18, in which the institution analyzed the CBDC projects of 14 central banks. The bank found that recent advances in payment settlements, decentralized ledger technology and the sharp declines in cash use are the main factors driving central banks to research and develop CBDCs. Most central banks in the report are currently developing IT systems to examine the feasibility of the established CBDC model.
Largest Private Investment Bank in Latin America Issues Real Estate Tokens on Tezos
Banco BTG Pactual is issuing its security tokens representing investment in real estate on the Tezos (XTZ) blockchain. Previously, the bank had issued its ReitBZ tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, raising $10 million in Ether (ETH) and Gemini Dollars (GUSD).
Central Banks Uninterested in Digital Currency for Consumers, Says Visa Exec
Consumer-facing digital currency solutions will not be taken seriously by central banks, according to a Visa executive. Visa head of crypto Cuy Sheffield tweeted on May 18 that he does not believe central banks are interested in providing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) directly to consumers, stating: “If a central bank decides to offer a digital wallet directly to consumers then by default CBDC and the central bank would have to become a household brand but this approach seems unlikely to be taken seriously by most major central banks due to operational challenges.”
XRP TipBot Rescued From Dutch Regulations Through Partnership With Uphold
XRP TipBot, a service enabling users to transfer XRP to each other via comments on Twitter, Reddit and Discord, has been saved from the threat of extinction at the hands of new regulations in the Netherlands. In a May 14 blog post, developer Wietse Wind explained that the “personal hobby project” had been at risk due to a registration deadline and vastly increased costs in order to conform to recently passed Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation. However, the project has been saved, through a last-minute partnership with digital payment platform Uphold.