Canadians Consulted on Digital Currency

The Bank of Canada (BoC) has launched a public consultation to seek input from Canadians on the possible creation of a digital Canadian dollar. The consultation will run from May 8 until June 19, and the bank has emphasized it is not currently developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) nor looking to replace cash. Rather, it is exploring the idea of a digital Canadian dollar as the world becomes increasingly digital. Senior Deputy Governor of the BoC, Carolyn Rogers, stated that the bank is seeking to hear from Canadians what they value most in the design of a digital dollar. The input will help the bank make decisions relating to the security and reliability of a potential digital currency, as well as ensuring it meets the needs of Canadians.

The BoC highlighted that it is important to consider the possibility of a digital Canadian dollar as cash usage declines, potentially excluding many Canadians from the economy. The bank also acknowledged the potential risks posed by the use of foreign CBDCs or cryptocurrencies, which could threaten the stability of the Canadian financial system.

The consultation’s questionnaire covers a wide range of topics, including payment methods used in the last month, how often the respondent would potentially use a Canadian CBDC, and what design features they would like to see. It also asks whether the respondent currently holds or uses cryptocurrencies and features demographic questions about age, gender, education, and income.

If a CBDC was issued, physical notes would still be provided “for those who want them,” according to the bank. The BoC said it will publish a report summarizing the consultation later this year.

While the consultation does not necessarily mean that a digital Canadian dollar will be created, it is a significant step towards exploring the possibility. Canada is not the only country considering a CBDC, with many central banks worldwide exploring the potential of digital currencies. The BoC’s consultation seeks to ensure that the bank makes an informed decision on the matter, taking into account the needs and desires of Canadians.


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Texas lawmakers propose gold-backed state digital currency

Two Texas lawmakers, Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Mark Dorazio, have introduced identical bills proposing the creation of a state-based digital currency backed by gold. Each unit of the proposed digital currency would represent a fractional equivalent amount of physical gold held in trust.

The bills, Senate Bill 2334 and House Bill 4903, outline the process for purchasing the proposed digital currency. Once a person purchases a certain amount of digital currency, the comptroller would use the money received to buy an equivalent amount of gold. The purchaser would then receive digital currency equal to the amount of gold purchased by the comptroller. The value of a unit of digital currency must be equal to the value of the appropriate fraction of a troy ounce of gold at the time of the transaction.

According to the bills, the trustee shall maintain enough gold to provide for the redemption in gold of all units of the digital currency that have been issued and are not yet redeemed for money or gold. The bills also state that a fee might be established “at any rate necessary” to cover the costs of administering this chapter.

While the bills have yet to be passed or presented for a vote, they are set to take effect on September 1, 2023. This move comes despite objections from several U.S. lawmakers who are against the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently expressed concerns about CBDCs, stating that they would grant “more power” to the government and provide them “with a direct view of all consumer activities.” Similarly, Republican Senator Ted Cruz introduced a bill to block the Fed from launching a “direct-to-consumer” CBDC, arguing that it is “more important than ever” to ensure U.S. policy on digital currencies protects financial privacy, maintains the dollar’s dominance, and cultivates innovation.

The idea of a state-backed digital currency is not new, with countries such as China and Sweden already testing their own versions of CBDCs. However, the introduction of a gold-backed digital currency by a U.S. state is a unique move. It is unclear how the proposed digital currency would be regulated or how it would affect the current financial system in Texas.

Gold has historically been considered a safe-haven asset and a store of value during times of economic uncertainty. The proposed gold-backed digital currency could provide Texans with an alternative to traditional fiat currencies and may appeal to those who are skeptical of the government’s ability to manage the monetary system. However, it remains to be seen whether the proposed digital currency will gain widespread adoption and whether other states will follow Texas’ lead in introducing their own digital currencies backed by precious metals or other assets.


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Thai Political Party Proposes $300 Digital Currency Stimulus

The Pheu Thai Party, Thailand’s political opposition, has announced a proposal to give every citizen of the country nearly $300 in digital currency should the party win the upcoming election. The plan was announced at a campaign event on April 5, where one of the party’s candidates for prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, described the initiative as a blockchain-based stimulus project aimed at boosting the local economy. The proposed stipend of 10,000 Thai baht, or roughly $292 at the time of publication, would be given to every Thai resident who is 16 years or older.

Thailand’s next general election will take place on May 14, with all 500 seats in the country’s House of Representatives up for election. Current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a member of the United Thai Nation Party, is eligible to hold his position until 2025 if selected, following a decision from Thailand’s Constitutional Court regarding his term limit.

The proposed crypto project could potentially cost the government between $14 billion to $18 billion, given that Thailand’s population is over 70 million, with around 50-60 million people over 16 years old. While cryptocurrency exchanges and trading are generally allowed in Thailand, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission has been considering a ban on staking and lending services and has established stricter rules for crypto custody providers. Additionally, the country’s central bank has warned crypto investors about stablecoins pegged to the baht.

Thavisin’s proposal to distribute funds equally to residents is similar to the universal basic income initiative proposed by United States presidential candidate Andrew Yang in the 2020 elections. Yang’s proposal involved giving all eligible people in the United States $1,000 every month.

If the Pheu Thai Party wins the upcoming election and follows through with its proposal, it could potentially have significant impacts on Thailand’s economy and the adoption of blockchain-based digital currencies in the country. However, the proposal also raises questions about the feasibility of such a large-scale distribution of digital currency, as well as the potential risks and challenges that may arise in the implementation process.


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Thai Political Party Proposes Digital Currency Stimulus

The Pheu Thai Party, a major political party in opposition to the current prime minister’s party, has proposed a significant stimulus project using blockchain technology in Thailand. At an April 5 campaign event, the party announced plans to provide all Thai residents over the age of 16 with a stipend of 10,000 Thai baht, or roughly $300, in digital currency. The party’s candidate for prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, touted the initiative as a way to help the local economy, and said that blockchain technology would be used to facilitate the distribution of funds.

The plan is similar to the universal basic income initiative proposed by U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang in the 2020 elections, which aimed to provide eligible people in the United States with $1,000 every month. The Pheu Thai Party’s initiative would provide a one-time payment of $300 to roughly 50-60 million Thai residents over the age of 16, which could cost the government between $14 billion and $18 billion.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has been considering a ban on staking and lending services, and has established stricter rules for crypto custody providers, despite crypto exchanges and trading generally being permissible in the country. Additionally, the country’s central bank has warned investors about stablecoins pegged to the baht. However, the Pheu Thai Party’s digital currency stimulus project has the potential to boost adoption of cryptocurrencies in Thailand, and could pave the way for further developments in the country’s blockchain industry.

Thailand’s next general election is scheduled for May 14, with all 500 seats in the country’s House of Representatives up for grabs. Current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is eligible to hold his position until 2025, following a decision from Thailand’s Constitutional Court regarding his term limit. The Pheu Thai Party’s proposal could have a significant impact on the election, and could influence voters to support the party’s pro-crypto stance.


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NanoLabs sues Coinbase over Nano trademark infringement

NanoLabs, the company behind digital currency Nano, has filed a legal complaint against Coinbase, a leading crypto exchange, for alleged trademark infringement. According to the complaint filed on February 24, 2023, in the California Northern District Court, NanoLabs has accused Coinbase’s Nano Bitcoin futures contract and Nano Ether futures contract products of infringing on its trademark rights.

NanoLabs claims that Coinbase’s offerings are “derivative products” based on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), which are “identical or highly similar” to Nano. It also alleges that Coinbase targets the same type of consumers as NanoLabs, and the trademarks for Coinbase’s products are “identical, and confusingly similar,” to NanoLabs. Additionally, NanoLabs claims that Coinbase had full knowledge of the Nano digital currency before launching its products, as evidenced by correspondence between the two companies in 2018.

NanoLabs argues that Coinbase should have known that offering Nano Bitcoin on the Coinbase Derivates Exchange would further consumer confusion, especially since the Nano Digital Currency is not listed on the Coinbase Exchange, and Coinbase provides no disclaimer, distinction, or education to consumers to this point.

The complaint states that Coinbase’s infringement has caused NanoLabs economic detriment and weakened its brand identity, resulting in “actual damage and irreparable harm.” NanoLabs is seeking at least $5 million in damages, corrective advertising from Coinbase, destruction of all materials infringing on the Nano trademark, and forfeiture of all profits Coinbase made using Nano trademarks. NanoLabs has requested a jury trial.

Colin LeMahieu founded the Nano digital currency in 2014 under the name RaiBlocks, and it was later rebranded to Nano on Jan. 31, 2018. Coinbase launched its Nano-branded offerings years later, introducing the Nano Bitcoin futures contract in June and the Nano Ether futures contract in August.

This lawsuit could have significant implications for Coinbase and the broader cryptocurrency industry, as it raises questions about the use of similar or identical trademarks for different digital currencies. It also highlights the importance of intellectual property rights in the rapidly evolving and highly competitive crypto industry.


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Digital Asset Protection Firm Coincover Secures $30 Million in Funding Round

The digital asset security business Coincover, which has its headquarters in London, raised a total of $30 million in funding in a round that was headed by Foundation Capital and included a follow-on investment from CMT Digital. Foundation Capital also led the fundraising round.

According to the release that was issued by Coincover, the money will be utilized to assist increase the overall security of the cryptocurrency ecosystem by scaling the operations of the firm, driving recruiting, developing new products, and forming collaborations with other organizations. Coincover will be able to provide an even more comprehensive level of security to people and organizations who are holders of digital assets as a result of this.

In the year 2018, Coincover was founded, and the following year, it was released into the market with the objective of generating a degree of trust within the digital asset industry. Already, the company works with more than 300 different businesses, some of which include wallets, exchanges, hedge funds, family offices, and banks, in addition to a number of digital asset custodians.

Coincover’s mission is to provide the digital asset market with a defense not just against hacker assaults but also against the mistakes that may be made by human operators. In this way, Coincover hopes to solve the security issues that have been plaguing the industry as a whole. Coincover’s goal is to make the cryptocurrency business more reputable and established by reducing the number of frauds and other fraudulent activities that are taking place. It is said that the organization’s services not only reduce the risks associated with transferring and storing bitcoin but also change people’s perceptions of digital assets and encourage improved levels of trust within the industry. This is because the services change people’s perceptions of the risks associated with digital assets.


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CBDC Activity Subsidizes Consumption During Lunar New Year

Over the course of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Chinese central bank distributed an amount of its digital currency (CBDC) worth millions of dollars around the nation in an effort to encourage more people to use it.

A story that was published on February 6 in the Global Times, an English-language subsidiary of the state-run newspaper People’s Daily, said that over the Christmas season, about 200 “events” for the e-CNY were launched across the nation.

The government attempted to “encourage consumption” through these events, which marked the first time it had done so since the COVID-19 limitations had been recently loosened.

According to reports, many localities together dispersed CBDC worth more than 180 million yuan ($26.5 million) via various schemes including subsidies and consumption coupons.

According to one example provided by the source, the local government in Shenzhen distributed e-CNY worth more than 100 million yuan ($14.7 million), which was done in order to aid the catering business in the city.

According to a story published in China Daily on February 1st, the city of Hangzhou gave each citizen an e-CNY certificate worth 80 yuan (about $12). The entire cost of the gift to the city was close to 4 million yuan, which is equivalent to $590,000.

It turned out that a number of these projects were quite well received by the locals.

According to a story published by the Global Times, which cited information obtained from the e-commerce site Meituan, the e-CNY that the municipal government of Hangzhou distributed to its citizens as part of the New Year’s festivities were used up in only nine seconds.

Over the course of the last several months, the government has implemented a number of additional goals and features designed to increase the number of people using the CBDC.

On February 1st, top governing party leaders in the city of Suzhou established a provisional key performance indicator by the end of 2023 of having 2 trillion yuan worth of e-CNY transactions in the city. This equates to around $300 billion in current U.S. dollars.

The objective is lofty taking into consideration that the total value of all e-CNY transactions has barely surpassed 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) as of October, two years after the introduction of the CBDC.

The e-CNY wallet software added the capability to send “red packets,” also known as hongbao in China, in late December of the previous year in an effort to entice new users. These “red packets” include money and are traditionally given as gifts during the holiday season.

An upgrade was released for the wallet app at the beginning of January, enabling users to make contactless payments using their Android phones. These payments may be made even if the user’s device is not connected to the internet or has power.

During the month of December, a former official from the Chinese central bank said that the outcomes of the e-CNY experiments were “not ideal,” and that “use has been minimal, very inactive.”


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Billionaire investor Ray Dalio has described fiat currency as being in serious jeopardy

Ray Dalio, a billionaire investor, has said that fiat money is under “jeopardy” as an effective store of wealth, but he does not think that Bitcoin (BTC) and stablecoins will be the answer to the problem.

On February 2, the founder of the hedge fund firm Bridgewater Associates appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss his concerns regarding the “effective money” status of the United States dollar and other reserve currencies as a result of the massive amount of money that has been printed using these currencies.

“We live in a world where the form of money that we are used to is under peril. We are creating too much money, and it’s not just the United States doing it; it’s all of the reserve currencies.”

Nevertheless, Dalio was quick to add his opinion on whether Bitcoin was a viable answer to the problem, noting that despite everything it has done in “12 years,” it is still too unpredictable to function as money:

“This is not going to be a productive use of money. It does not function very well as a means of storing riches. “He claimed that it is not a viable medium of trade since it is not efficient.

Stablecoins, which are replicas of state-backed fiat currency, were another kind of cryptocurrency that he thought was ineffective as a form of money.

Instead, Dalio recommended the introduction of a “inflation-linked currency,” which would help customers preserve their purchasing power in the face of rising prices.

“The item that comes the closest to that is something called an inflation index bond,” he said. “However, if you developed a coin that says OK, this is purchasing power that I know I can save in and put my money in over a period of time and trade in everywhere, I believe that would be a terrific coin.”

“Therefore, I believe that you are going to witness the creation of currencies that you have not seen before and that most likely will end up becoming coins that are both beautiful and viable. He continued by saying, “I don’t believe Bitcoin is the answer.”

On the other hand, Dalio’s assessment of Bitcoin and the practicality of an inflation-linked currency did not get widespread support from the financial community.


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China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

Improvements have been implemented into China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), often known as the digital yuan or eCNY. These upgrades have given the digital yuan the ability to participate in smart contracts, and they have also introduced a number of new use cases.

According to a story published on January 17 by a local cryptocurrency media site called 8btc, the smart contract capability was released on the Meituan app, which is a Chinese app that offers retail and food delivery services.

When a user of Meituan places an order and pays for it with their e-CNY wallet, a smart contract is triggered, and the contract examines the order for certain keywords and things that were bought.

If a user purchases an item that is included in the list of keywords for the day, they will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a portion of a reward.

The award consists of a portion of a “red envelope,” also known as an hongbao in the area, which contains 8,888 yuan, which is equivalent to little more than $1,300.

Hongbao are wallet-sized packages that have long been used as an auspicious way to present monetary presents during the Chinese New Year celebration.

In an effort to encourage more people to use the e-CNY wallet app before the Chinese New Year begins on January 22, the developers included a function in December of the previous year that enables users to send digital red envelopes to one another.

In conjunction with the most recent advancement, new applications for the e-CNY have also been developed during the course of the last several days.

According to a story that was published in the China Shares Journal on January 16, e-CNY was utilised for the very first time to purchase securities.

In addition, investors are able to purchase assets via the CBDC by using the mobile app for Soochow Securities, which is a local brokerage business.

According to a report published on January 11 by Yicai Global, the digital yuan wallet software has gotten an upgrade that enables users to conduct contactless payments using their Android phones even when their device does not have access to the internet or electricity.

The new applications for the digital yuan come at a time when China is having difficulty increasing the usage of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

In December 2022, a former official from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, made a rare public admission saying that the digital yuan’s “usage has been low” and “highly inactive,” and added that “the results are not ideal.” This admission was made by saying that the digital yuan’s “usage has been low” and “highly inactive.”

On January 10, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) for the first time included e-CNY in currency circulation data, which revealed that the CBDC constituted around 0.13% of the 10.47 trillion yuan ($1.54 trillion) in circulation at the end of 2022.


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Bank of Japan will test digital yen with three megabanks

Even though Japan is undecided if it would develop a central bank digital currency, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) is continuing to test out a digital version of the yen. This is the case despite the fact that the BoJ is testing out a digital version of the yen (CBDC).

Nikkei, a Japanese news agency, reported on November 23 that the Japanese central bank has begun working with three megabanks and regional banks to conduct a trial CBDC issuance. Nikkei’s report was based on information obtained from the Nikkei news agency. The Nikkei news agency was the source for the aforementioned information.

As part of the pilot program, the digital yen, which will eventually take the place of the paper yen as Japan’s national digital currency starting in the spring of 2023, will be tested. This will be the first time the digital yen will be used.

The Bank of Japan, together with other major private banks and other institutions, will work together as part of the experiment to identify and address any problems that may crop up with the method by which customers deposit and withdraw money from their bank accounts.

According to the story, the pilot will test how Japan’s future CBDC performs when it is not connected to the internet, with a special focus on payments that do not need the internet.

The Bank of Japan’s central bank plans to continue with its CBDC experiment for around two years, and it will make a decision by 2026 on whether or not to develop a digital currency. This information comes from the article.

The declaration comes at a time when an increasing number of countries all over the world are launching research and development activities on CBDC, with countries like China acting as models for the rest of the world to follow in their footsteps.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of governments throughout the world have been working tirelessly to implement a CBDC, some nations, such as Denmark, have made the decision to withdraw from the competition.

As the key reasons for discontinuing their CBDC or CBDC-related efforts, the central banks cited a number of issues as the primary reasons for their decision, including the likelihood of obstacles for the private sector, unknown value and benefits, and other problems.

To this day, there has not been a single central bank that has completely ruled out the possibility of the launch of a CBDC.


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