Hong Kong Released an Official Whitepaper of Its CBDC

Following a collaboration with the BIS Innovation Hub, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released a technical Whitepaper on retail CBDC, called “e-HKD: A technical perspective.” The financial institution expects to come up with an initial view of the project by the middle of 2022.

One Step Closer to a CBDC

The HKMA doubled down on its efforts of launching a digital Hong Kong dollar (e-HKD). After exploring the project’s potential benefits with peer central banks, the monetary organization brought to light its official whitepaper on its future retail CBDC.

The HKMA’s partner in investigating the move was the Hong Kong Centre of the BIS Innovation Hub. Together, their mission was to analyze the details for issuing and distributing retail central bank digital currencies.

The Whitepaper is different than other similar papers as it reveals the technical architecture of the financial solution. Per the announcement, locals can expect the initial view of e-HKD by the summer of 2022.

It is worth noting that the HKMA introduced the “Fintech 2025” strategy earlier this year, and one of its key focuses was strengthened research work on CBDCs.


Mr. Eddie Yue – Chief Executive of the HKMA – noted that the move represents a significant step towards launching a future digital e-HKD:

“The Whitepaper marks the first step of our technical exploration for the e-HKD. The knowledge gained from this research, together with the experience we acquired from other CBDC projects, would help inform further consideration and deliberation on the technical design of the e-HKD. We also look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions from the academia and industry to enrich our perspectives.”

Eddie Yue
Eddie Yue, Source: scmp.com

Hong Kong And Thailand with a Joint CBDC Project

Last year the central banks of the two nations revealed their intention to create a joint CBDC, dubbed Project Inthanon-LionRock, to facilitate efficient payments between each other.

Back then, the HKMA informed that the current payment system in Hong Kong was highly efficient. As such, it didn’t need to adopt a CBDC for settlements within the country. However, the authority believed cross-border payments need improvement, and digital currency could help solve the problem.

The central banks did not give a timeframe for launching their upcoming CBDC for real transactions. However, they vowed to continue working on the joint project and even add more countries to the Project Inthanon-LionRock.


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Forget Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, BNB And XRP—The Price Of This Small Cryptocurrency Is Quietly Soaring

The price of bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have failed to make gains over the last month—though have made a strong start to October.

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The bitcoin price has treaded water since this time last month, while the ethereum price has lost almost 15%. Ethereum rivals cardano and Binance’s BNB—now the third and fourth biggest cryptocurrencies after huge rallies this year—have lost 25% and 12% respectively since early September.

As the price of bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies flatlines, OMG, the native token of the ethereum-scaling OMG network, has soared to highs not seen since early 2018—up almost 150% since early September.

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The OMG price surged along with the wider bitcoin and crypto market earlier this year, peaking at just over $13 as it was listed on major U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase. It subsequently crashed to around $3 but has surged back in recent months, climbing to over $18 last night.

“OMG’s rise seems to be on investor excitement in [layer-twos] and on the announcement of the mainnet launch of boba network, [a layer-two] optimistic rollup, as OMG token holders are eligible for an upcoming airdrop of the boba governance token,” Martin Gaspar, a research analyst at digital currency platform CrossTower, told Coindesk.

In June, OMG rebranded as part of its layer-two pivot toward layer-two and has teamed up with the enya and boba networks, planning on reducing ethereum’s eye-watering gas fees, improving transaction speeds and expanding its smart contract functionality.

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Other ethereum-focused layer-two projects have also seen a surge in interest in recent weeks, though polygon’s soaring number of active addresses has failed to so far result in a price rise for its matic coin.

“Adoption rates for ethereum layer two solutions continue to rise, as the number of polygon’s active daily addresses flipped ethereum’s for the first time last week,” Marcus Sotiriou, a trader at the U.K.-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote in a note.

“Data form Etherscan shows that the number of active addresses on polygon has grown by 168% in the past 30 days, while ethereum’s count has gone up by a measly 0.6%. This surge in adoption is mainly down to NFTs and gaming and may result in an increase in price for the native token, matic, in the short term.”


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Facebook, Instagram Down as Bitcoin Advocates Take Shots

In brief

  • Facebook and its owned services Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp have all been down for several hours.
  • Advocates of blockchain technology and crypto are calling for decentralized alternatives.

Facebook and related services such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus have all been down for several hours today as of this writing, with the social media giant citing “networking issues” behind the global, widespread outages.

Reports suggest that the outages are tied to DNS issues, with cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs writing that DNS records were “withdrawn this morning from the global routing tables.” Other reports suggest that Facebook is attempting to manually restart servers, and that employees haven’t been able to enter buildings due to widespread service disruption.

Services are only now starting to come back online, The Verge reports, but it could take hours before global access is restored across all of Facebook’s apps.

It’s one of Facebook’s worst outages to date, affecting the social network’s 2.89 billion global users, as well as those who use its related services. In 2019, Facebook weathered a 14-hour outage, while an outage back in 2008—when the service had just 150 million users—lasted for about a day.

For advocates of blockchain and decentralized networks, today’s outage is the latest prominent example of how centralized systems can fail on a massive scale. Blockchain offers a potential alternative to such centralized models, with distributed, user-run networks that lack a single point of failure and are censorship-resistant to boot.

Blockchain builders, Bitcoin enthusiasts, and decentralization advocates have used the occasion to prod Facebook and centralized (or “Web2”) systems across Twitter—which has largely remained online amidst Facebook’s issues—and via emailed statements.

“Today’s total collapse of Facebook and Instagram, among other apps, illustrates the problem with centralization,” said Unstoppable Domains founder and CEO Matthew Gould, via email. “On the decentralized web, or Web 3.0, it would make it easier for users to port their data and contacts over to other services, as they wouldn’t be dependent on Facebook or a Facebook login to contact their friends and family or use their favorite apps.”

“While this appears to be DNS-related, it should remind everyone why we need a more open, decentralized, and inclusive internet—free from disruptions and with strong defenses,” tweeted digital rights advocacy group Access Now. “Globally, many people experience the devastating effects of internet shutdowns first-hand.”

Meanwhile, many Bitcoin fans are reveling in the realization that the leading cryptocurrency currently has a larger market cap than Facebook, due to its sinking stock price. Bitcoin’s market cap sits around $925 billion as of this writing, while Facebook’s cap is just under $920 billion, with its stock price down nearly 5% on the day.

Not only is Bitcoin currently worth more collectively than Facebook, but it also “has better uptime,” writes Jameson Lopp, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Bitcoin security firm Casa and an outspoken Bitcoin maximalist.

Decentralized social networks are a hot topic in the blockchain space, with services like Mastodon and Minds touting millions of users apiece compared to massively larger centralized services like Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Aave is working on an Ethereum-based rival to Twitter, with plans to launch this year.

Even Twitter sees a future in the space: the service is funding a “Blue Sky” team focused on developing a decentralized social media protocol, and CEO Jack Dorsey is one of the most prominent Bitcoin backers around. Under his stead, Twitter recently implemented Bitcoin-based tipping, and will soon allow Ethereum-based NFT holders to verify their profile pictures.


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These 3 indicators flashed bullish ahead of the recent Bitcoin price pump

In stock markets and the crypto sector, traders are always looking for a definite reason to explain an asset’s price action, which means it’s important to stress that correlation doesn’t imply causation. 

While it may be easy to connect a regulatory statement or pending legislation to the outcome of an asset’s price, there’s not always hard proof that these were the exact drivers. Some indicators described below may have happened due to pure luck, even if the coincidence continues throughout history.

For example, Bitcoin’s (BTC) pump to $48,200 on Oct. 1 could have been related to the Sept. 30 remarks by the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. When asked to clarify his comments on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), Powell affirmed that the FED has no intentions to ban cryptocurrencies.

Another plausible reason for the current rally is Bitcoin’s 7-day average hash rate jumping to 145 exahashes per second (EH/s), its highest level since the abrupt crash in early June when China’s mining crackdown intensified.

Finally, increasing expectations of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might have played an essential part in traders’ recent bullish bets.

What is clear is that multiple factors could have led last week’s pump to $49,000, and today bulls appear to be making an effort to recapture $50,000. So let’s take a look at 3 indicators that flashed a ‘buy’ signal ahead of the recent price move.

UNI caught a bid after traders turned their attention to DeFi

Uniswap (UNI, left) vs. Bitcoin (BTC, right). Source: TradingView

UNI, the decentralized exchange token for Uniswap, pumped a few hours ahead of the Oct. 1 market rally. The altcoin began its price increase right as the UTC monthly close happened, initially by 5% to $24.20 from $23. This move was followed by another 4% pump to $25.20 three hours ahead of Bitcoin’s breakout above $45,000.

Curiously, DEX volumes started to soar after China imposed additional restrictions on Bitcoin in the previous week. A reasonable explanation for the move could be investors beginning to understand that China’s action would not impact the trading volume. By migrating to DEX, the possibility for governments to control or limit cryptocurrency adoption goes down significantly.

Shorts on derivatives exchanges saw an uptick

Some exchanges provide useful information on clients’ net exposure by measuring their positions or consolidating data from spot and derivatives markets. For example, the OKEx Bitcoin traders’ long-to-short ratio dropped from 1.25 (favoring longs) to 0.72 (favoring shorts) by 28% in less than two days.

That might sound counterintuitive at first, showing whales increasing bearish bets, but when market expectations are broken, extreme price moves tend to happen. Had most traders expected a positive price swing, the result would likely have been priced in already.

OKEx Bitcoin derivatives long-to-short ratio. Source: OKEx

Binance futures open interest grew suddenly

Regardless of the underlying asset, a futures contract has longs (buyers) and shorts (sellers) matched at all times. This means there is no way to anticipate whether those investors are skewed to either side.

However, sudden increases in the open interest, which reflects the aggregate number of contracts still in play, reflects confidence. The higher the notional involved, the bigger the stakes.

Binance Bitcoin futures open interest. Source: Binance

Notice how, during the 4 hours ahead of the 6:00 am UTC bull run, the spike on both the USDT perpetual and the coin-based contract open interest. Interestingly, even with the $400 million additional bets, Bitcoin price was only noticeably impacted after the open interest peaked.

The truth is one might never uncover what exactly triggered the rally, but by monitoring similar patterns in the future, traders may be able to predict price pumps. Of course, there’s no guarantee that all three indicators will repeat themselves, but the cost of monitoring the data is minimal.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.