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Turkey Are Already Pilot Testing There CBDC In Mid 2021!

Turkey Announces CBDC Pilot Tests Planned for Mid-2021

Turkey’s Parliament central bank governor Naci Agbal updated the public on the development of its central bank digital currency (CBDC for short), revealing that the “conceptual” research had been completed and that the public can expect practical tests for such a currency in the latter half of 2021. This announcement came at a time where Turkey struggles with soaring consumer prices and an inflation rate currently in the double digits.

“There is a research & development project initiated on digital money,” said Agbal, according to two local news outlets. “Currently, the conceptual phase of the project has been completed. We aim to start the pilot tests in the second half of the next year.”

While this announcement came as a surprise to those that didn’t follow Turkey’s stance on CBDC’s in the past, the country was actually researching the possibility of implementing some form of a digital currency since mid-2019. In addition to that, a 2021 rollout of a digital Lira is not a new concept but rather an already expected but delayed scenario. Turkish president Recep Erdoğan announced in Nov 2019 that tests for a digital Lira would be complete by the end of 2020. The reason for the delays was most likely tied to Turkey changing its central bank head in Nov 2020.

The progress regarding digital Lira comes as the country’s central bank grapples with inflation being as high as 14%. In an official statement to reporters last week, Agbal – who got appointed as the central bank’s governor just last month — that the central bank is “determined” to reduce inflation and meet its year-end target of 9.4%. 

As we have stated before, Turkey is not new in the cryptocurrency sector. In fact, it is considered one of the most active countries in the world for cryptocurrency and digital transformation industry as a whole, with over 20% of its population holding some form of digital money. 

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Sweden Leading the Way in the CBDC Sector – The First Country To Go Fully Digital?

Sweden Leading the Way in the CBDC

The Swedish government is currently progressing with its central bank digital currency by launching a formal review of a potential digital transformation to the digital currency.

According to a Bloomberg report published Dec 11, the review will explore the feasibility of moving the complete country’s payments infrastructure to a digital currency. Sweden features one of the most cashless economies in the world.

Per Bolund, financial markets minister of Sweden, reportedly said that the government expects to finish its digital currency review by the end of Nov 2022. Anna Kinberg Batra, a former chairwoman of the finance committee at Sweden’s central bank, would lead the initiative.

Bolund emphasized that ensuring that the digital payments system in Sweden functions in a safe way and is “available to everybody” is crucial. “Depending on how a CBDC is designed and which technologies are being used, it can have large consequences for the financial system as a whole,” the minister said.

Sweden has emerged as one of the leaders in the CBDC technology sector, announcing a pilot platform for its own digital currency known as e-krona in late 2019. In order to properly build the platform, Sweden’s central bank partnered with Accenture, a professional services company coming from Ireland. Riksbank launched its first e-krona CBDC pilots in February, claiming that the digital currency testing will be in operation until Feb 2021.


In Oct, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves expressed complete confidence that an e-krona CBDC should be issued by the central bank and fully recognized as legal tender. Last year, Ingves stated that Sweden’s central bank could not be the only institution that decides on the future of an e-krona implementation:

“Considering how important this issue is to the economy, the Riksbank cannot take this decision on its own. The decision on whether the e-krona should be introduced to the public is a decision that must have substantial political support.”

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Bank Of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe Says Banks Must Keep Up With Crypto! The Race For CBDC!

Banks Will Need to Adjust to Crypto – Bank of England Deputy Governor Speaks Up

Jon Cunliffe has, as one of the leaders of England’s central bank, talked about crypto and digital assets as well as how banks will have to adapt to the changes brought by the crypto sector. His public statement is a testament to how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are changing the world as we speak.

Blockchain and digital assets offer their users the ability to store their own assets. By providing this service, they are possibly threatening the solutions that banks offer. Making sure that banks remain relevant on the playfield is not on the to-do list of England’s, or any country’s, central bank. Bank of England deputy governor Jon Cunliffe said that their job does include protecting various bank’s business models, but that banks will have to adjust. “Our job is to make sure that if bank business models change, the central bank manages the financial and macro-economic consequences of that” – Cunliffe said.

Cunliffe also spoke about central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, and the “race” to be the first country to digitize its currency. He said that CBDCs also pose a threat to the solutions that commercial banks provide, as they are essentially cutting them out as middlemen. Crypto, on the other hand, is much broader and presents users with the option of self-custody, which presents a challenge to banks. However, in the case of crypto, banks will still function as fiat currency on-ramps as no cryptocurrency is even close to becoming a unit of account.

China seemingly leads the race to roll out its own CBDC, as it is already testing its digital yuan in some parts of the country. CBDCs hold far-reaching implications. Cunliffe said that “They need to go up the political agenda very fast before the political side starts to discover that there are developments in the private sector that don’t fit with policy.” This was said with an implication that governments across the globe have to prioritize conversations around digital assets due to the changes they may bring.
In contrast to many nations sprinting toward the CBDC finish line, United States financial regulators came out with a statement that they do not need or want to be the first to come out with their own CBDC, but that they rather want to do it right.

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Brazil’s Central Bank Joins the CBDC Race! Crypto!


Brazil’s Central Bank Joins the CBDC Race

The Central bank of Brazil has begun laying the groundwork for its own Central Bank Digital Currency with an official statement revealing that it has already formed a dedicated group who’s job is to study the crypto industry and potential benefits of Brazil having its own CBDC.
According to the central bank officials, the team consists of 12 members that form an intergovernmental group that will assess how the CBDC could fit the national payments ecosystem, as well as what its impact could be on Brazil’s economy and the society as a whole.

Previous reports showed that Brazil spends around 90 billion reals or $16 billion annually to ensure a functional supply of cash in circulation. This amount of money represents between 1% and 2% of Brazil’s GDP.
The central bank said that the new group would examine and state how much money will be saved by issuing Brazil’s own CBDC, as well as if it will be net beneficial for the national economy.

Information Technology Department of the Brazilian central bank’s official Rafael Sarres de Almeida made a public statement, saying:
“The subject of digital currencies that are addressed by central banks has been on the research agenda of many central banks across the globe for some time. However, in 2020, there was a greater focus on an approach that was more practical.”

He added that China has already led the way by entering the final testing phase of its CBDC, but that many other monetary authorities have announced new projects as well.

In May, Ripple had a closed-door meeting with the Brazilian central bank, where officials from both sides discussed “institutional matters.” According to the bank, this meeting included its president Roberto Campos Neto, Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse, as well as three other representatives of the crypto firm. However, but no other details have been provided on the specific topics of the meeting.

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Why the United States Senate is Mulling over Digitizing the Dollar

About two years ago, the concept of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), particularly in the United States, seemed far away in the future. Sure, there have been several studies exploring the implementation and use cases of CBDCs, but to the average person, the concept was still unclear. Fast forward two years, the Senate Banking Committee tabled a bill known as “Banking For all Act” that seeks to digitize the U.S.U.S. dollar. 

Led by Senator Sherrod Brown, the bill came at the height of a global pandemic – the Coronavirus outbreak – which has prompted the U.S.U.S. government to offer taxpayers a stimulus check to help them weather the economic recession caused by the epidemic. In a press release, Senator Brown laid out the details of this bill by saying that if implemented, the legislation would allow Americans to access their stimulus funds without relying on expensive check cashers. Unfortunately, the proposed legislation didn’t make the final draft of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. As a result, the distribution of the first $1200 stimulus check was riddled with issuance glitches since the existing infrastructure doesn’t support the nationwide disbursement of funds. In fact, it is reported that more than 35 million Americans are yet to receive their first stimulus check. 

The digital dollar debate Gets a second chance.

Under the current system, Americans have to wait for direct cash deposits or physical checks from the U.S. Treasury Department. As such, those without a bank account filed with the Internet Revenue Service (IRS) cannot receive the stimulus check. At the same time, with respect to the spread of Coronavirus, physical cash/checks can increase the spread of the disease, countering the government’s efforts of flattening the curve. This created a new momentum for the reintroduction of the digital dollar proposal as an efficient way of distributing funds. 

Building on this momentum, congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) introduced a proposal to have the federal government issue a $2,000 stimulus check through the Automatic BOOST to Communities Act (ABC Act). Under this act, Congress will authorize the Federal Reserve to create ‘FedsAccounts,’ which are, basically, digital dollar account wallets. This way, U.S. residents and businesses will be able to access funds through an app on their phone. 

Following up on ABC Act, the Senate Banking Committee recently held a virtual meeting to discuss the digitization of the dollar, chaired by Senator Mike Crapo. In attendance were four ‘witnesses,’ among them being the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Christopher Giancarlo. He is also the brainchild of a non-profit think tank known as the Digital Dollar Foundation (DDF), which seeks to advance the cause of government-issued digital currency. Recently, the foundation partnered with Accenture – a global leader in CBDC advancement – to form the Digital Dollar Project. Under this merger, a whitepaper was released explaining a “Champion Model” for what should be the essential technical designs of a digital dollar. 

The Champion Model 

As outlined in the whitepaper, the digital dollar doesn’t seek to replace its fiat counterpart, but rather act as a third form of the national currency. As such, the Federal Reserve will maintain its control over the monetary policy and distribution of the digital dollar. 

The only difference between the proposed digital dollar and the fiat currency is that the former will be distributed in the form of tokens instead of an account-based model used by the latter. Through tokenization, all transactions will be managed by a digital ledger that records and authenticates digital dollar tokens to ensure that they are genuine and not double spent. 

To kick-start, the distribution of the digital dollar, commercial banks, and payment processors will exchange their fiat currency reserves for digital dollars, and subsequently distribute them to customers via apps or debit cards. 

Pros and cons of a digital dollar 

The main advantage of a federal issued digital dollar is that it will enhance financial inclusion. This is especially important with the ongoing issuance of stimulus checks whereby the unbanked population missed out on the first disbursement due to a lack of access to financial services. Even for the banked population, the current payment processors are inherently slow and costly to send money. However, the blockchain architecture supporting the digital dollar can facilitate efficient transactions at a more affordable rate than the existing infrastructure. 

Besides the advantages, there are various concerns about the use of tokenized dollars. Most of these concerns are centered around the privacy and centralization of users’ data. The CBDC will be issued by the Federal Reserve, meaning that the government will gain absolute control of users’ financial data. Also, with the government’s reputation for running mass surveillance programs, the incoming digital dollar may be a new system of monitoring the masses. 

Beyond payments

The digital dollar proposal is yet to get a green light from Congress. But, having sparked the attention of legislators, it conveys an overwhelming sense of urgency that the government should work on a CBDC sooner than later. Moreover, the Digital Dollar Project whitepaper emphasizes the need for digitizing the dollar by laying out that other national governments have already started pilot programs for their native CBDC. 

China, in particular, is testing its native digital currency, which will be included in payment systems of various multinational companies such as Starbucks and McDonald. Of particular concern is China’s potential to push its digital Yuan in emerging markets and international trade. If successful, the digital Yuan has the potential to unseat the U.S. dollar as the ideal reserve currency. 

Facebook’s plan to launch its digital currency – Libra – has also had a hand in spiking the government’s interest in designing a digital dollar. Even more recently, the Libra association modified its whitepaper to include a series of fiat-pegged stablecoins rather than just one multi-currency backed token as initially planned. 


It remains unclear how soon the digital dollar will come into existence. However, given the economic pressure from the Coronavirus outbreak as well as competition from China’s digital Yuan, the digital dollar debate will continue to linger in the minds of policymakers for long. Ultimately, it is great to see legislative attention on digitizing the dollar using blockchain technology, as this promotes the acceptance of cryptocurrencies. 

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Bank of Thailand Launches A Digital Currency Pilot!


Bank of Thailand Launches a Digital Currency Pilot

The Bank of Thailand announced its plans to develop a prototype to test real-life business use-cases of its central bank digital currency.
The bank made an official statement saying that, before it launches a CBDC payment system for all businesses, it has plans to test it with large-scale enterprises.

They have entered a partnership with the largest cement and building material provider in Thailand, called Siam Cement Group (SCG), as well as Thailand-based fintech firm called Digital Ventures Company Limited, with the intention of testing the new payment prototype system.

Bank of Thailand CBDC pilot

The pilot project test is scheduled to start in July of this year and end by the end of the year. With the aforementioned CBDC payments, the Bank of Thailand aims for a more efficient payment system that would have increased flexibility for various fund transfers as well as faster payment settlement between suppliers.
Other countries reviewing the potential of CBDCs
Thailand is not the only country that is interested in having their own CBDC. China has remained a frontrunner in regard to experimenting with this technology, while other countries are not that far behind.

The Bank of Canada seemingly entered the game by posting a job opening titled “Project Manager, CBDC,” which clearly signifies that Canada is interested in this technology. Banque de France also successfully tested a digital euro last month.

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Greyscale Are Buying All The 𝐁𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐨𝐢𝐧 Supply up!

Grayscale Stocking up on Bitcoin Like Never Before

Independent researcher Kevin Rooke made an estimate that Grayscale Investments ramped up its Bitcoin accumulation to an immense rate. The Cryptocurrency fund manager seems to be accumulating Bitcoin at a rate equivalent to 150% of the newly-mined BTC since the halving.
Rooke’s research shows that Grayscale has added 18,910 Bitcoin to its Investment Trust since the halving. To compare, only 12,337 Bitcoins have been mined since the halving on May 11.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reposted this info chart, saying that there isn’t enough new Bitcoin supply to go around, even just for one guy.

Grayscale is rapidly absorbing Bitcoin supply

Rooke’s research estimates that Grayscale bought Bitcoin at a rate equal to one-third of the new supply during Q1 of 2020, therefore accumulating 60,762 BTC over 100 days. As a result, Grayscale’s Q1 average weekly investment into its trust increased 800% year-over-year and reached $29.9 million.
After Grayscale founder Barry Silbert said, “just wait until you see Q2,” the investment fund is now purchasing nearly double the coins per day, while the supply got reduced by half. This brings Grayscale’s daily average to 1,112.35 Bitcoin per day, which represents almost 150% of the daily mined coins.

Grayscale vs. CBDC’s

A recent report published by Grayscale show’s company’s distaste for people comparing Bitcoin to central bank-issued digital currencies.
The report clearly stated that CBDC’s are not something that can be viewed as a replacement to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but rather as a representation of departure from the true intent of cryptocurrencies, which is decentralized protocols. While CBDC’s can upgrade the payment infrastructure, Bitcoin is trying to upgrade money itself.