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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European Parliament Ratifies MiCA Framework in Landslide Vote

The long-awaited Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation has just scaled through the European Parliament as MPs voted massively in favour of the bill.


As reported by the Economic Committee Press, the bill received a 28:1 vote to scale, completing the tripartite deal needed to push the bill into its next implementation phase.

The European Parliament vote comes after the European Council also voted to pass the bill last week. As it stands, the European Union will now be more focused on perfecting the bill’s details to add it to the EU Journal, where the official implementation process will begin.

“It is important to ensure that the [European] Union’s financial services legislation is fit for the digital age and contributes to a future-ready economy that works for the people, including by enabling the use of innovative technologies,” said the MiCA text as of Oct. 5.

The MiCA bill has been the talk of the crypto world for a while now, and with the Parliament’s approval, the bill is one step closer to being implemented across the board. 

Perfecting Individual Regulatory Roles

Despite the passage of the MiCA, each body of the European Union is making further studies into the industry. Based on this, the European Commission has put out a call for participation in a pilot trial in which it seeks to offer more in-depth monitoring of the Ethereum protocol and the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) activities running on it. 

According to the European Commission’s document, the body’s top focus through this trial/study is hinged on the “automated supervisory data gathering directly from the blockchain to test the technological capabilities for supervisory monitoring of real-time DeFi activity.”

The DeFi world is quite advanced, and the industry is most expressive on the Ethereum blockchain. Notably, the European Commission’s move will help tame the growing industry and ensure comprehensive oversight on the industry. 

The call for participation is out, and submissions are expected until December 1.

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Crypto Regulation Takes New Leap as European Council Adopts MiCA

The European Union is drawing closer to adopting the comprehensive Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation as the European Council has passed the framework through voting on Wednesday.


Regarded as a landmark move toward a regulated future in the European Union, the passage of the guidelines by the Council leaves the European Parliament as the only bridge toward the final adoption of the bill before the targeted implementation commences. The Parliament is billed to meet on October 10, where the body’s economic affairs committee is expected to vote on the proposals. 

Should the Parliament pass the proposals, the next official move will be to integrate them into the official journal of the European Union to begin the process of its enforcement. 

As noted, many details will still be analyzed as EU officials work up additional focal points in the proposal. Once settled, these additional statutes will be unveiled to the appropriate stakeholders. 

The EU has been quite fragmented regarding the approach toward digital currencies, with most member nations issuing licenses and permitting crypto based on the approach and guidelines that are best known to their officials. The trend will change with the advent of MiCA as every member state in the EU will be guided by the common laws enshrined in the bill. 

The entire offshoot of the digital currency ecosystem is billed to be impacted by the proposal in MiCA. There are concerns bordering on the suitability of provisions in the bill concerning non-Euro-denominated stablecoins. The bill puts a cap that might significantly impose systemic censorship on transactions conducted through the non-Euro-backed stablecoin. 

The clause remains a volatile subject of discourse and French officials are particularly bent on maintaining the status quo in order to help bolster the sovereignty of the Euro currency.

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BIS Launches Project Icebreaker with Central Banks to Explore CBDC

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has rolled out Project Icebreaker together with the central banks of Sweden, Norway, and Israel to see how CBDCs can be utilized for international remittance and retail payments.

Per the announcement:

“Project Icebreaker is a collaboration between the Bank of Israel, Central Bank of Norway, Sveriges Riksbank and BIS Innovation Hub Nordic Centre to develop a “hub” to which participating central banks will connect their domestic proof-of-concept CBDC systems.”

Since cross-border payments are accustomed to insufficient transparency, limited access, low speeds, and high costs, Project Icebreaker seeks to explore how central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can bridge the gap.

Ideally, it will scrutinize the technological feasibility and specific key functions of interjoining various domestic CBDC networks. 

The project’s final report is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023, given that it will run till the end of the year.

Andrew Abir, the Bank of Israel Deputy Governor, noted:

“The results of the project will be very important in guiding our future work on the digital shekel.”

He added:

“Efficient and accessible cross border payments are of extreme importance for a small and open economy like Israel and this was identified as one of the main motivations for a potential issuance of a digital shekel.” 

According to a survey by Ripple, CBDCs have triggered overwhelming consensus among global finance leaders.

The study disclosed that more than 70% of them were certain that CBDCs would spur financial inclusion, Blockchain.News reported. 

Once rolled out, CBDCs are expected to drive the financial inclusion of nearly 1.7 billion people left out of the banking system. This is because CBDCs are digital assets pegged to real-world assets and backed by the central banks.

In May, 90% of apex banks have shown intentions of rolling out Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), according to a study by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). More than 110 countries are currently at one stage or another of the CBDC development process, and many more are poised to join the trend. 

-With assistance with Annie Li-


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China to Limit the Unauthorized Use of Other’s Digital Properties

The illegal use of people’s work including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) without getting their permission has been a concern to the National Copyright Administration in China (NCAC).


To this end, the agency alongside four departments has therefore enacted policies in a special edition campaign ‘Jianwang 20222’ to combat this issue according to a press statement. They address infringement policies in areas such as online video, online text, online music, online news, and online live broadcast.

An important aspect of the infringement policy is to accelerate innovative ideas, protect digital works, strengthen the entire chain of copyright and also ensure punishment is meted out to defaulting parties.

The ‘Jianwang 2022’ is hoping to address this policy in four areas. Firstly, a good structure database is required to compare previous works against new ones.

The second is to increase the copyright oversight of online platforms and look into the use of online digital goods on other online platforms according to established laws and firmly rectify violations that are against these rules.

The third strictly cracks down on the unauthorized use of other people’s works of art, animation, films, games, and television to create NFTs, make digital copies and sell pirated versions via the internet.

Lastly, it aims to consolidate the work accomplishments in the area of online literature, games, and arts, amongst others, and effectively enhance online copyright infringements.

A Rise in the Use of NFTs

Non Fungible Tokens are seen as one of the first steps toward economic opportunities for a lot of people. This is an important factor that will contribute to a continuous rise in the digital space according to reports. 

Various organizations are also making use of NFTs as an instrument in their various platforms. For example, LG electronics recently collaborated with Hedera blockchain to explore NFT capabilities. The collaboration will allow users to buy and sell NFTs through their television sets.

While NFTs are gaining a remarkable wave in the digital currency ecosystem, reports have also been made by various Artists about finding their works on NFT platforms without their knowledge. This is an important aspect the NACA is seeking to address.

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Central African Republic Begins Sales of Sango Coin

The Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked country in Central Africa, rolled out the launch and sales of its national cryptocurrency called “Sango Coin” on Monday, July 25, as planned.

However, the sales of the national digital currency tokens started with a low tone, with just over 5% of the target bought in the hours after its launch. The slow start has so far raised questions about the project’s transparency and a broader market downturn in the industry.

As reported by Blockchain.News last week, the launch and sales of “Sango Coins” worth $21 million were expected as of Monday. The CAR government planned to put 210 million Sango Coins on offer (sales), priced at $0.10 each, with a minimum investment of $500 to be paid in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Out of the initial $21 million on offer, about $1.09 million had been sold by 1115 GMT on Tuesday, after the digital token went on sale at 1700 GMT on Monday, according to Reuters media.

Investors, who were enthusiastic about the prospects, bought the Sango Coin, with a minimum investment of $100 paid in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and USDT. This was a drop from customers’ planned minimum investment of $500.

A local investor named Michel Muna, a 35-year-old Cameroonian who imports food and drink, bought $524 worth of Sango Coin on Monday.

Some market experts have tried to explain the events behind the sales of the CAR’s crypto coins on the first day.

Joseph Edwards, head of financial strategy at Solrise, a crypto investment firm, said: “A crypto project not selling out its initial mint is a poor sign. It’s hard to get a precise read on things because of the whole coin and project’s deliberately obscure structure.”

Another crypto industry figure, who requested her identity to remain anonymous, said Sango Coin did not have what most crypto enthusiasts view as one of the assets’ main benefits – a lack of state involvement. “They’re building something that is literally controlled by the government,” she stated.

Revitalising National Economy

In April, the Central African Republic (CAR), one of the world’s poorest countries, made headlines when it became the first African state to make Bitcoin legal tender.

The announcement puzzled many crypto experts and prompted the International Monetary Fund to warn that the African country’s implementation of Bitcoin would pose economic and legal issues.

Opposition parties criticised the CAR for deciding without consulting the regional central bank that manages the shared currency of six countries, including the Central African Republic.

However, the CAR government defended the plan, stating that the move towards cryptocurrency is part of the nation’s effort to revitalise its economy and develop its financial inclusion with a ‘next-generation currency.’

Ranked among the poorest nations in the world, the CAR became the second to adopt cryptocurrency after El Salvador.

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Central African Regional Bank Seeks to Introduce Common Digital Currency

The board of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has urged the central bank (serving six central African countries) to introduce a common digital currency that can be used across its six member states.

The board held a meeting in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, on Thursday, and made a proposal (signed by its head, Herve Ndoba). The proposal, which calls for the central banker to develop a common Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for its six member states, detailed how the use of the digital currency would modernize payment structures and promote financial inclusion in the region.

The Bank of Central African States serves as the central bank for the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) member states Chad, Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Nigeria, which is not served by the central bank, officially launched a CBDC called eNaira in October last year. The launch has triggered discussions among other sub-Saharan nations to consider the technology. As a result, several sub-Saharan African central banks are exploring, or are in the pilot phase of issuing digital currencies to their respective jurisdictions.

Bids to Nullify Bitcoin as Currency

The proposal comes after the central bank strongly opposed the Central African Republic’s decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in April this year. The central bank labeled the Bitcoin adoption decision as “incompatible with the agreements and conventions governing the Central African Monetary Union and the Statutes of the Bank of Central African States.”

The Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin as its official currency alongside the CFA franc. The nation also legalized the use of cryptocurrencies, the presidency announced on 28th April.

On 10th May, the Cameroon-headquartered Bank of Central African States (BEAC) urged the Central African Republic (CAR) to nullify the law it passed in late April that made Bitcoin legal tender. The central bank said the move breached its rules and could adversely affect monetary stability in the six-member Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).

The central bank mentioned that the CAR’s decision to make Bitcoin legal tender could compete with the Central African Franc (CFA), the region’s France-backed currency.

CEMAC members, including Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Congo, use the CFA Franc as official currency.

The bank urged the CAR to comply with CEMAC in promoting financial and economic cooperation and avoiding policies that could cause monetary fluctuations.

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EU Agreement on MiCA May Not Favor Stablecoins

After much deliberation and compromises from the European Commission, Assembly, and Council, a final agreement that builds the comprehensive framework for the digital currency ecosystem has finally been made. 


Known as the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework, the newly agreed regulation has been lauded by several industry figures and has been termed a landmark achievement that will favor the growth of the digital currency ecosystem in the European Union.

Beyond the region, expectations also abound that the new regulation will serve as a viable standard for other regions to also develop theirs.

With the final agreement signed, many permutations are now being made to highlight how the new comprehensive regulation will affect key participants in the industry.

The Stance of MiCA on Stablecoin

Ernest Urtasum, a member of the European Parliament shared the news about the finalized agreements on MiCA, adding amongst many things the stance of the bill on stablecoins.

“Agreement between the EU institutions on MiCA: we will have a common harmonized EU-wide regime for crypto-asset issuers and service providers, that will provide security for investors and support sustainability, while to reducing fragmentation and increasing legal clarity,” he said via a long Twitter thread, “MiCA provide safeguards against cases like the crypto-crash, the collapse of the stablecoin LunaUSD. Large stablecoins will be subject to strict operational and prudential rules, with restrictions if they are used widely as a means of payment, and a cap of 200€millions in transactions/day.”

The obvious cap placed on stablecoin transactions on a daily basis, however, may not work out as projected as stablecoin transactions run into billions of dollars. 

According to data from CoinMarketCap, Tether’s (USDT) trading volume over the past 24 hours at the time of writing is pegged at $32.7 billion, a figure that is way above the defined threshold. While USDT is just one of the many stablecoins around, this particular clause of MiCA is being faulted by many industry stakeholders as a whole.

Earlier, agreements not to ban Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining had been enshrined into MiCA, thus eliminating future concerns about Bitcoin Mining in the region.

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BlackRock CEO Believes Russia-Ukraine War in Boosting Crypto Adoption

BlackRock Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink has lent his voice to describe the role of digital currencies in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.


In a letter to Shareholders on Thursday, Larry criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, noting that it has set back about 30 years of globalization efforts.

Of particular note is the acknowledgement of the role of digital currencies which he noted will help many countries record a paradigm shift in their view and approach to the nascent asset class. An excerpt of Larry’s letter reads:

“A less discussed aspect of the war is its potential impact on accelerating digital currencies. The war will prompt countries to re-evaluate their currency dependencies. Even before the war, several governments were looking to play a more active role in digital currencies and define the regulatory frameworks under which they operate,” 

As correctly observed, digital currencies came to Ukraine’s aid when the country called for help with more than $30 million contributed by the broader community to support the country’s efforts in repelling Russian forces. From Bitcoin (BTC) to Dogecoin (DOGE), and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), the backing the crypto ecosystem gave to the Ukrainian people has not gone unnoticed.

Larry identified the move by many Central Banks to float a digital version of their currencies, a move that is poised to stem the dominance of cryptocurrencies in the emerging payment ecosystem. In Larry’s belief, crypto can help cut down the cost of transactions as well as in remittances. This obvious superior outlook has cemented BlackRock’s resolve to continually embrace digital currency innovations as it has done in time past.

“A global digital payment system, thoughtfully designed, can enhance the settlement of international transactions while reducing the risk of money laundering and corruption,” Larry said, concluding his talk on digital currencies, adding that “Digital currencies can also help bring down costs of cross-border payments, for example when expatriate workers send earnings back to their families.” 

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