- A French banker has stated that the country is considering a central bank digital currency that allows for easier Euro transactions.
- The European Union has created a new fund for large-scale crypto and AI projects with an estimated €400M value.
- The United States Congress has introduced a bill that may reclassify Facebook’s Libra as a security token.
- The former head of China’s central bank claims that a digital yuan would focus on retail payments first, cross-border payments second.
In a recent speech, France’s First Deputy Governor Denis Beau appears to actively support the use of distributed ledger technology and blockchain payment systems. In particular, he suggests that France is considered a central bank digital currency that would allow euros to move across borders quickly at a minimal cost.
Banque de France has been one of the most outspoken advocates for DLT. In October it began searching for a blockchain analyst to help it design a digital currency implementation program. And it was the first central bank in the world to develop a blockchain registry system, according to Beau.
“As a major provider of critical wholesale clearing and settlement services in euro, [the Eurozone] should be open to experimenting these innovations in order to revisit and possibly improve the conditions under which we make available central bank money as a settlement asset,” Beau said last week.
“We, at the Banque de France, are therefore quite open for experiments in that direction, together with the European Central Bank (ECB) and other central banks of the Eurosystem, in particular with regard to a wholesale CBDC,” he added.
European Investment Fund
The international crypto race is well underway, as noted in a statement from the European Investment Fund. In a partnership with the European Commission, the EIF has created a €100 million fund that will be used to support AI and blockchain developments. While the EU has funded crypto projects previously, those examples focus on research or proof-of-concept groundwork. Newly funded projects would operate on a larger scale. The fund’s final value is estimated to reach €400M.
This is only the beginning. Investing in a portfolio of innovative AI and blockchain companies will help develop a dynamic EU-wide investors community on AI and blockchain. By involving national promotional banks, we can scale up the volume of investments at a national level.
The EC and the EIF’s participation in the market could be a powerful force for setting regulatory and legal precedents, driving a clarity of language and easing the path to regulation on both AI and blockchain in Europe.
Imagine a world where waste is trimmed from supply chains, cutting costs and maximising efficiency, thanks to the transparent nature of blockchain. Or enhancing your natural abilities through AI technology. AI and blockchain can only change lives if they can be commercialised and used. We’re looking forward to making that happen.
Facebook hoped the libra token would make it a major player in the cryptocurrency space. Today, it seems to face more regulatory scrutiny than any other crypto project. A newly-introduced bill called “Managed Stablecoins are Securities Act of 2019” may classify the Libra as a security token and create a new regulatory structure for digital assets.
Two members of the House Financial Services Committee, Reps. Sylvia Garcia, D-Tex., and Lance Gooden, R-Tex., proposed the “Managed Stablecoins are Securities Act of 2019” on the day of a committee hearing on the role of big data in financial services. Garcia explicitly called out libra in a statement announcing the bill, saying that it and other managed stablecoins “are clearly securities under existing law.”
“Bringing clarity to the regulatory structure of these digital assets protects consumers and ensures proper government oversight going forward,” Garcia said in the statement.
China has a plan to become a global cryptocurrency leader, and it starts with retail payments over cross-border payments. The former head of the People’s Bank of China, Xiaochuan Zhou, told the Caixin Hengqin Forum that China would emphasize retail use of digital yuan payments. While Zhou is no longer leading the central bank, his speech is considered to be a soft signal for how China intends to proceed.
“There are two goals for international digital currencies,” Zhou said. “The first one, which is also what China envisions is to develop digital payment and its use for retail system in the country, while the other goal is to cross-border payment for international financial institutions.”
According to Zhou, these two goals will require different technical designs for the digital yuan, and China might expand its capabilities once it implements the digital payment function in retail.
Zhou said China is a difficult environment to test out the new digital currency, and a country with a smaller population could be better since the cycle for currency circulation is shorter.
That’s the roundup for November 30, 2019. Check in next week for the latest news of cryptocurrency innovation and regulation around the world!
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