German Cabinet and Bundesbank tries to resolve CBDC issues
The Cabinet of Germany and Deutsche Bundesbank are working together on issues regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
The Cabinet published an official response to a request from the Free Democratic Party, which asked it to respond to six questions related to CBDCs in July 2019.
The Cabinet has responded to all of these questions, using major reports and surveys in the space to back their claims, including a January report by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). Specifically, the Cabinet cited the BIS when asked about its knowledge or insights about CBDC, claiming that 70% of global central banks are involved in CBDC work, but only two are truly prepared to issue digital central bank money.
However, the decision about CBDC issuance has not been finalized, the authority added.
Seba Crypto AG and Sygnum receive banking and securities dealer licenses
Seba Crypto AG and Sygnum, Two Swiss crypto organizations, acquired banking and securities dealer licenses from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), according to the statements made by the banks.
With the new license, Seba is planning to launch its new trading platform early in October, the company said in its announcement.
Sygnum, on the other hand, plans to include custody and integrated liquidity platform for major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and digital Swiss Franc tokens.
Swiss Federal Council’s opinion on Facebook’s Libra
The Swiss Federal Council expressed its take on Facebook’s Libra crypto project. This was in response to questions brought up by the Social Democratic Party national councilor Prisca Birrer-Heimo.
For Crypto-related activities, the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Bank Act, and the Financial Market Infrastructure Act lay down general rules that may require banking and payment system licenses from the FINMA.
The Federal Council stated in its reply that these are currently still ambiguous due to some missing details and will be decided “as soon as an application is made or activity is carried out.”
Swissquote launches Robo-Advisor
Swiss online bank Swissquote now offers a Robo-Advisor for managing automatic crypto investments.
Swissquote has been offering automatic deposit redeployment service since 2010 and now it can also be used for cryptocurrencies.
The bank stated:
“The Robo-Advisor creates a tailor-made investment portfolio for clients, monitoring and optimizing it around the clock to keep the desired risk level constant. The intuitive platform allows you to choose default settings or define your own investment preferences. The algorithm dynamically determines the optimal allocation in these assets, depending on market conditions.”
Bitwala launches a smartphone app for Bitcoin banking
German blockchain-based banking startup Bitwala announced the launch of its mobile app for Bitcoin banking on both iOS and Android. Users in European countries can now open a German bank account with an integrated Bitcoin wallet and trading.
The account comes with a free debit Mastercard. Euro deposits up to €100,000 ($110,100) are covered by the German deposit guarantee scheme.
The app uses a video identification feature, with which residents throughout the European Economic Area can easily verify and open an account within minutes. Bitwala CTO Benjamin James explained:
“Once you have an account, you can seamlessly integrate your daily banking activities — whether in Bitcoin or Euro — into your everyday life.”
Cashless crypto donations project Token4Hope launched in Austria
The goal of the project is to create a transparent and credible “Human2Human” donation system.
Managing director of Collective Energy and developer of the “Humanity Token” Christoph Zinganell added:
“Token4Hope shows how donations could be processed in the future: a cashless, transparent, tamper-proof donation system with anonymous data based on blockchain. The system has brought donors and recipients closer together.”
Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain and retailer implements blockchain-based food traceability
Migros, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain and retailer, is planning to use blockchain to keep tabs on its food supply chain.
Migros plans are to launch a TE-Food’s blockchain-based food traceability system. According to the announcement, Migros expects the new initiative to provide more benefits by enabling easier product recalls and improved supply chain control rather than just offering transparency for customers.
President of the Bundesbank’s take on Libra
“At least as far as the Eurozone is concerned, I am relaxed,” said President of German Bundesbank Jens Weidmann in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Aug. 25.
However, he added that one has to be aware of the credit and exchange risks of such digital currencies if money is not exclusively linked to the local currency of its user.
“For Libra, the key question for me as a central banker is what impact such a private digital means of payment would have on monetary policy, financial stability, and payments, if it were widespread.”