Interbank Market News Scan: China is graying and will need to revamp its demographic policies ….

Links to follow today ….

Central banks, China. A pension deficit and looming debt crisis driven by a rapidly greying population. That’s the nightmare scenario for Chinese authorities, including the nation’s central bank, who are increasingly worried about the financial implications of the country’s demographic challenges. China population: what’s driving central bank concern about the nation’s ageing workforce? | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)

Central banks, CBDCs. The proposed authoritarian evolution of centrally issued digital currencies takes the world closer to dystopia. Central Bank Digital Currencies And The Orwellian New World Order | Nasdaq

Central banks, bitcoin. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz said Thursday the surge in cryptocurrencies is serving as a referendum on the perceived ability of the Federal Reserve to manage risks facing the world’s largest economy and suggested people continue to buy into bitcoin. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz says the record-breaking rally in crypto shows a lack of faith in the Fed – and cites central-bank uncertainty as a reason for bitcoin’s latest surge (msn.com)

Central banks, Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada sent out a warning to investors this week that inflation still matters. In a surprise move, it accelerated the timetable for a possible interest-rate increase and began paring back its bond purchases on Wednesday. That made Canada the first major economy to signal its intent to reduce emergency levels of monetary stimulus. Inflation Forces the Bank of Canada’s Hand Ahead of Fed and ECB (msn.com)

As we enter a new week, the rates to start your day ….

As of 11:30 am EST, Bloomberg reports that the yield on the three-month Treasury note closed at 0.02% last Friday while the two-year note closed at 0.16%. The ten-year and thirty-year Treasurys closed Friday at 1.56% and 2.23%, respectively.

The Federal Funds rate, the rate at which banks lend to each other overnight in support of their reserve requirements, is at .07%, while the Fed Funds target rate is still at .25%. The prime lending rate is 3.25%.

Exchange rates of interest as of 5:30 pm EST….

Currency PairsRates as of 5:30 pm EST 25 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1890
GBP/USD1.3718
USD/CAD1.2568
AUD/USD0.7625
USD/JPY108.0210
USD/NOK8.5402
USD/CHF0.9417
USD/SEK8.7274
USD/MEX20.5078
Source: OANDA

Interbank market news scan: The United Kingdom moves closer to adopting a central bank digital currency; other news…

Links you should be following:

Central banks, Bank of England. The UK is ahead of the curve when it comes to digital currency adoption, according to new research. A report by PwC reveals the UK is fifth in the world when it comes to preparing for the adoption of a central digital currency although a consumer offer remains a while off yet. UK leads race across Europe to introduce interbank digital currency (msn.com)

Central banks, Central Bank of Nigeria. It is the norm to hear talks around the need for convergence in Nigeria’s foreign exchange (FX) markets. This implies that there is mispricing. Historically, this mispricing has always been between the parallel market rate, which trades at a premium to the CBN’s managed rates across different FX windows. Liquidity, price discovery in Nigeria’s FX market Opinion — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

Central banks, Federal Reserve. Excess cash in the financial system has pressured overnight interest rates, in some instances pushing them negative, which, analysts said, could prompt the Federal Reserve to lift the short-term rates it manages. EXPLAINER-U.S. repo market flirts with negative rates as Fed seeks to absorb excess cash | Nasdaq

Central Banks, Central Bank of the Bahamas. The Bahamas and Cambodia rank as the two top central bank digital currencies. Bahamas Ranks First in CBDCs, China’s Digital Yuan Third: PwC Report – BeInCrypto

Central banks, Central Bank of India. The rupee advanced by 23 paise to 74.64 against the US dollar in opening trade on Tuesday, tracking weaker dollar against key rivals and a positive trend in the domestic equity market. Forex traders said the government’s decision to open COVID vaccination to all above 18 years from May 1 lifted investor sentiment. Rupee Rises 23 Paise to 74.64 Against US Dollar in Early Trade (msn.com)

The market is opening. The rates to start your day:

As of 8:59 am, Bloomberg reports that the three month yield on U.S. Treasurys is at 0.02% while the two-year comes in at .16%. The ten-year Treasurys are trading at 1.60% and 2.30%, respectively.

The Federal Funds rate, the rate at which banks lend to each other overnight in support of their reserve requirements, is at .07%, while the Fed Funds target rate is still at .25%. The prime lending rate is 3.25%.

The Opening Takeaway: I Expect the Federal Reserve, US Treasury to Pull the Trigger on Cryptocurrency.

Yesterday, the markets saw some pull back in shares for Coinbase (Nasdaq:COIN) with the cryptocurrency exchange closing yesterday at $332.75, down from a high of $409.62 back on 14 April. The pull back was reportedly expected among some analysts as some investors took a little cream off the top. From a market perspective, I was not impressed with the offering. In the end, Coinbase is a market exchange platform for cryptocurrency relying on transactional fees for its survival and maintaining credibility among market participants as an information finder and margin provider for traders.

How well Coinbase does is a direct function of how well cryptocurrency does. As long as cryptocurrency stays in its digital asset lane, it may need not worry about too much regulation. Should it dip its toe further into the currency lane, that is where bitcoin, ethereum, dogecoin, etc., may find themselves in a world of hurt.

A currency’s legitimacy comes from the “king.” The king airdrops the currency throughout his jurisdiction for the purpose of washing and compounding it through a jurisdiction’s merchants, producers, and consumers. The currency says a lot about the economic value of the king’s jurisdiction and to maintain the prevailing narrative the currency represents, the king must control or heavily influence its value and circulation. The decentralized financial mechanism that cryptocurrency survives on does not fit into the command and control scheme of the king.

So far the US Federal Reserve has been ambivalent about its view of cryptocurrency. The US Treasury has been a bit clearer about its view of cryptocurrency as a currency based on Janet Yellen’s concerns about cryptocurrency being used for nefarious activities such as money laundering and drug trafficking. Neither the Federal Reserve or the US Treasury has expressed their concerns based on the philosophical underpinnings of currency, but I believe that when it is time for the central bank and the Treasury Department to pull the public policy trigger, control of the currency will be the ultimate public policy rationale.

Countries such as The Bahamas and Cambodia (see the links above) are not waiting. In the interbank, foreign currency exchange world, The Bahamas and Cambodia are near non-existent, but in the digital space they are the leaders in issuing central bank digital currency, taking digital payments to the next level. Over 60 countries are experimenting with or planning deployment of central bank digital currencies where their fiat currencies are tethered to block chain digital technology. Critics argue the point that outside of the digital tethering, a central bank issued digital currency does not increase the value of the fiat currency much. Maybe.

Other than requiring more use out of your cellphone or apps on your desktop, a central bank bank-issued digital coin may seem like mere aesthetics, but what is being ignored is the increased control that the government and central banks can exercise over the currency. Taking it to the extreme, I can see a government requiring that all transactions conducted within its jurisdiction be done via its central bank-issued digital currency with the primary reason being ensuring the collection of taxes on these transactions while better monitoring nefarious activities. I can see such a move beginning in countries that place less emphasis on free markets or individual privacy. The US will hem and haw over such a move especially when it sees China doing it, but if digitisation puts China out further ahead then I can see the United States capitulating to the new digital reality.

As for bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, they may end up staying in the digital asset space. Their calling card is built on decentralized finance and opaqueness. They won’t become universally used currency for the masses.

Interbank market news scan: Crypto rates fall as crypto exchanges seek more support from traditional finance platforms …

The takeaway:

Cryptocurrency exchanges are doing their best to gain increased legitimacy in the world of finance by hiring advocates with knowledge of Washington or taking their increasing valuations on to publicly traded stock exchange platforms. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s decision today to maintain its fed funds rate may continue to drive more investors toward cryptocurrencies as the dollar continues to fall in value relative to other currencies. With low-rates expected through 2023, there is no end in sight for increased crypto valuations, although hiccups are expected along the way. This is not to say that crypto will maintain its hold on the digital currency space. Bitcoin, for example, is not truly anonymous, according to Digitex CEO Richard Byworth. If that is the case, does that give non-anonymous central bank digital currencies less competition in the future?

Also, cryptocurrency saw another fall in valuation as of 11:07 pm EST 17 March 2021.

To see what we’re following, follow the links …

CFTC should review crypto because it’s exploding: Baucus. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2021-03-12/cftc-should-review-crypto-because-it-s-exploding-baucus-video

Goldman, Citi lead U.S> banks plowing billions into China. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2021-03-17/goldman-citi-lead-u-s-banks-plowing-billions-into-china-video

Bitcoin may rise to $175,000 by year end. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2021-03-15/bitcoin-may-rise-to-175-000-by-year-end-diginex-ceo-video

Coinbase Global, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, on Wednesday revealed that the company now has a valuation of $68 billion ahead of its planned direct listing due in large part to recent private transactions, Reuters first reported. https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/coinbase-ipo-valued-68-billion-ahead-direct-listing-bitcoin-cryptocurrency-2021-3-1030220737

Creator who sold NFT house for $500,000: “We’ll be living in an augmented reality lifestyle soon.” https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/17/creator-of-first-nft-digital-house-krista-kim-on-augmented-reality-.html

Cryptocurrency exchange rates as of 17 March 2021 11:07 pm

BTC/USD=56,150.30 ETH/USD=1,771.60

BTC/EUR=47,097.80 ETH/EUR=1,485.99

BTC/GBP=40,364.90 ETH/GBP=1,273.55

BTC/AUD=72,505.00 ETH/AUD=2,287.61

BTC/CAD=69,904.10 ETH/CAD=2,205.55

BTC/CHF=51,975.70 ETH/CHF=1,639.89

BTC/JPY=6,124,550.00 ETH/JPY=193,236.00

BTC/CNY=365,010.00 ETH/CNY=11,516.50

Source: OANDA

18 March 2021 12:14 am EST

Interbank market news scan: Should the US be concerned about falling behind the “digital currency curve?” Bitcoin, Ethereum prices fall …

News you should be following. Follow the links …

China’s rapid development of its sovereign digital currency, the so-called digital yuan, is causing the United States to worry that it could fall behind in the race for financial technology innovation, analysts said. China digital currency: US ‘worried’ as it falls ‘behind the curve’ in race for financial innovation (koreatimes.co.kr)

Trading was muted overnight while markets await the latest views from central banks. The US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England headline a cattle call of central banks due to deliver interest rate decisions this week. Markets stall ahead of Fed | CMC Markets

The US dollar is gaining ground on the other major currencies as the foreign exchange market reacts to rising Treasury yields. The prospect of inflation continues to dominate investors’ minds, as all the conditions appear to be in place for a massive rebound in economic activity that is likely to cause consumer prices to spike. Daily market commentary: The foreign exchange market reacts to rising Treasury yields (leaprate.com)

Despite banking services becoming increasingly digital and accessible through mobile devices, there are still 1.7 billion adults without an account at a financial institution. Although The World Bank’s 2017 report confirms some improvement in this regard, only 300 million individuals succeeded in overcoming this hurdle between 2014 and 2017. At this rate, the imbalance of financial access will remain a pressing problem for some time to come. DeFi Is the New Lemonade Stand (yahoo.com)

In 2021 the modern economic landscape is already beginning to shift. The growth of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) has been a part of the discussion for years, but the reality of how it will impact securities trading is finally being realized. An increasing number of securities are now digitized, underpinned by distributed ledger technology (DLT) that provides the necessary tools that allow for faster, cheaper and ultimately more secure markets, regardless of asset type. The Rise of Digital Securities | Nasdaq

Cryptocurrency exchange rates as of 11:45 pm EST 16 March 2021 …

BTC/USD=55,332.10 ETH/USD=1,767.68

BTC/EUR=46,430.60 ETH/EUR=1,482.99

BTC/GBP=39,875.10 ETH/GBP=1,273.88

BTC/AUD=71,447.80 ETH/AUD=2,282.53

BTC/CAD=68,972.00 ETH/CAD=2,203.43

BTC/CHF=51,241.80 ETH/CHF=1,637.01

BTC/JPY=6,035,080.00 ETH/JPY=192,801.00

BTC/CNY=359,694.00 ETH/CNY=11,491.10

Source: OANDA

Interbank market news scan: Kentucky puts crypto on the scams hit list; Bitcoin strengthens while Ethereum weakens …

Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange rates as of 10:46 pm EST, 10 March 2021 …

ETH/USD: 1802.11 BTC/USD: 55,359.60

ETH/EUR: 1514.47 BTC/EUR: 46,523.70

ETH/GBP: 1,296.95 BTC/GBP: 39,841.50

ETH/CHF: 1,675.78 BTC/CHF: 51,479.00

ETH/JPY: 195,759.00 BTC/JPY: 6,013,600.00

ETH/CNY: 11,726.50 BTC/CNY: 360,230.00

Source: OANDA

Follow the links …

These digital assets are known non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. Blockchain technology allows these items to be publicly authenticated, serving as a digital signature to certify who owns it and that it is an original work. NFTs cannot be exchanged on a like-for-like basis, as each one is unique – in contrast to fungible assets like dollars, stocks or bars of gold. Explained: Non-fungible tokens or NFTs (yahoo.com)

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has rejected claims by banks that they cannot pay interest on deposits because they are not making profit, arguing domestic financial institutions are outperforming their regional counterparts. ‘Banks must pay interest on deposits’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Forex is one of the most enormous and liquid markets around the globe. In 2010, the forex market accounted for more than 3 trillion dollars of daily trading. But the surprising fact is that the market did not exist a century ago. Unlike the stock market, we cannot trace the roots of the forex market. Evolution of Forex to Become the Largest Financial Market | Finance Magnates

After dipping as low as $53,500, buyers have re-entered the main stage and pushed Bitcoin to $57K. There is a good chance that the benchmark cryptocurrency will head into territory above $60K. Bitcoin rushes to new highs, supported by strong demand (fxstreet.com)

The Department of Financial Institutions is reminding investors to be on the lookout for investment schemes pitched through the internet and social media. Department of Financial Institutions lists Internet, social media scams as top threats for Ky. investors – KyForward.com | KyForward.com

10 March 2021

Interbank market news scan: Will Ripple, XRP facilitate development of central bank digital currencies?

Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange rates as of 10 March 2021, 5:30 am EST

ETH/USD: 1,818.90 BTC/USD: 53,961.00

ETH/EUR: 1,530.63 BTC/EUR: 45,408.90

ETH/GBP: 1,311.22 BTC/GBP: 38,899.80

ETH/AUD: 2,365.32 BTC/AUD: 70,171.70

ETH/CHF: 1,695.32 BTC/CHF: 50,294.90

ETH/JPY: 197,890.00 BTC/JPY: 5,870,770.00

ETH/CNY: 11,848.20 BTC/CNY: 351,500.00

Source: OANDA

For what I am following, follow the links …

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a scheme that seeks to boost international remittances as well as to encourage the use of official corridors when retrieving funds. The CBN’s move to incentivise recipients follows the plummeting of the country’s official remittances inflows as recipients opt for non-traditional corridors such as cryptocurrencies. Nigeria to Pay 1.2 Cents for Each Dollar Remitted to the Country to Combat Cryptocurrency Use – Emerging Markets Bitcoin News

The worldwide cryptocurrency market size is anticipated to arrive at USD 1,758.0 million by 2027, displaying a CAGR of 11.2% during the estimated time frame. The developing tendency of people in created nations towards virtual cash trade strategies will immensely affect the market during the gauge time frame. Cryptocurrency Market to Expand with Increasing Internet Penetration, says Fortune Business Insights (yahoo.com)

Banque de France, the central bank of France, has reportedly discussed XRP and Ripple for the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The central bank is planning to prefer XRP over Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bank of France, Likely to Prefer XRP over Bitcoin and Ethereum | Finance Magnates

Bitcoin’s value surpassed $1 trillion on Tuesday as the price of the cryptocurrency jumped. Bitcoin (BTC) value exceeds $1 trillion for second time (cnbc.com)

10 March 2021

Interbank market news scan: People are still learning about decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens …

Bitcoin and Ethereum rates as of 2:00 pm EST:

ETH/USD: 1,727.26 BTC/USD: 50,781.20

ETH/EUR: 1,453.99 BTC/EUR: 42,747.00

ETH/GBP: 1,248.90 BTC/GBP: 36,717.40

ETH/AUD: 2,250.84 BTC/AUD: 66,174.40

ETH/CHF: 1,612.47 BTC/CHF: 47,406.40

ETH/JPY: 187,629.00 BTC/JPY: 5,516,260.00

ETH/CNY: 11,255.90 BTC/CNY: 330,921.00

Source: OANDA

Follow the links …

Engaging in the traditional financial markets has become less appealing to consumers and institutional investors as of late. New opportunities are plentiful, with decentralized finance getting a lot of attention. However, that new movement is not without its risks and flaws, either. Decentralized finance may be the future, but education is still lacking (cointelegraph.com)

Akash Network, a project out of Overclock Labs, confirmed the successful launch of Akash MAINNET 2, the first open-source cloud and the only viable decentralized cloud alternative to centralized cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Decentralized finance may be the future, but education is still lacking (cointelegraph.com)

In May 2021, Brinc Finance is launching the Brinc Token (BRC) – the world’s first defi cryptocurrency backed by on-chain reserves that delivers intrinsic value by distributing fees and governance tokens directly to holders. The BRC Token is powered by an algorithmic bonding curve which governs the minting, burning, price, and supply via smart contract. Brinc Finance introduces the BRC Token – a defi token with intrinsic value, increasing returns, and on-chain reserves | Markets Insider (businessinsider.com)

NFT, or non-fungible token, has become 2021’s ‘blockchain’, a word you’ve never heard of before that is suddenly everywhere. Be it Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey auctioning his first tweet, or the Kings of Leon selling their latest album, as one, NFTs are everywhere. But what is an NFT? What is an NFT? Non-fungible tokens explained and why you shouldn’t dismiss this fad | TechRadar

Individual brands becoming their own “crypto-banks” not a far off possibility …

Data from OANDA, a brokerage, sees the dollar, euro, and pound values of Bitcoin continued their climb this week. The BTC/USD pair increased by 6.4% from 45,657.60 USD on 1 March 2021 (10:30 am EST) to today’s 48,609.70 USD. The BTC/GBP pair jumped 6.6% over the same period, from 32,761.20 GBP to 34,919.20 GBP. The BTC/EUR pair was not to be outdone with a 6.7% increase from 37,809.80 EUR to 40,353.90 EUR.

The Ethereum trade saw higher increases percentage wise. The ETH/USD came in today at 1,532.36 USD, up 7.3% from 1 March. The ETH/GBP and ETH/EUR were up 7.4% and 7.6%, respectively, over the same period.

Volatility will remain an issue for some time as the business media reports cryptocurrency as prominently a speculative play even as mainstream investment bank willingness to facilitate trade in cryptocurrency increases. What will quiet volatile moves in cryptocurrency prices is if more consumers see crypto as part of the mainstream payment system.

A recent article in Vogue sheds some light on that possibility. The article addresses up front the taint that crypto has to shake; that it is a medium for money laundering, drug trafficking, and tax evasion. But the article also points out that activity such as online gaming and the issuance of nonfungible tokens (NFT) are driving Bitcoin resurgence.

A NFT is published on an Ethereum blockchain ledger, is certifiably singular, and prevents replication by others.

The article points out that fashion is making inroads into the metaverse, the virtual world where participants interact via avatars, and following the trend where physical assets e.g., collectibles, are represented in digital form.

The takeaway that got me excited was the finding among individuals interviewed in the article that platforms and individuals are moving toward issuing their own currencies. “Cryptocurrencies are like air miles in that they can only be used within the infrastructure of specific companies, ” notes the author, Kati Chitrakorn. Firms are taking the opportunity to launch their own currencies where their inventory is limited and they provide their fans with short windows on certain purchases.

“Imagine only being able to purchase a must-have product via the brand’s coin or getting access only if you hold a certain amount of these coins”, says Mahesh Vellanki of Rally, a blockchain platform. “Brands and creators might prefer to use their own tokens to build their own economies and interact with fans on their terms.”

Another takeaway from the article is a third way for the consumer to obtain Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. We are familiar with the mining aspect, where as part of validating a transaction a mathematical problem is solved by a “miner” who receives Bitcoin as compensation. We are seeing a lot of buying as the second option. The third option often overlooked in mainstream media is obtaining a loyalty token on certain platforms.

In the short term I see where operating within the current jurisdictional environment places a severe limit on these platforms to grow and their currencies maximized. Large platforms such as Amazon and Facebook already start with a huge advantage as non nation-state platforms were goods and services are exchanged. For the individual sovereign, their wealth generated by their ability to leverage their brand to issue currency is limited by the taxing authority they reside under.

Question is, can the individual, as a physical asset, digitize into an alternative space and create their own jurisdiction?

Interbank market news scan: Cryptocurrencies and central banks …

Today’s crypto exchange rates …

BTC/USD: 45,657.60

BTC/EUR: 37,809.80

BTC/GBP: 32,761.20

ETH/USD: 1,428.01

ETH/EUR: 1,182.56

ETH/GBP: 1,024.66

Follow the links ….

The price of Bitcoin was up nearly 10% in trading Monday after Citibank said in a note to clients that it thinks the cryptocurrency is at a “tipping point” and could one day “become the currency of choice for international trade.” Baystreet.ca – Bitcoin Jumps After Citibank Says The Cryptocurrency Is At A “Tipping Point”

With insane prices, Bitcoin makes its headlines every year. In fact, we forget that each beginning of the year, Bitcoin soars to new heights, as investors seek new means and assets on which to bet and scale. This year is no exception, but the increase is stronger than ever. And this is not related to the covid, but rather to its indirect effect on central banks. Bitcoin can thank central banks (housseniawriting.com)

As the world is moving towards a cashless society, the payment system around us is transforming into a digital economy. Currently, only a small percentage of global money is expressed as physical forms of currency, with the majority of money being exchanged electronically through online payment apps, online, or using debit cards. Despite the fact that society today is on the verge of becoming an advanced economy, only a small percentage of people understand how cryptocurrencies vary from fiat currencies. Difference Between Fiat Currency and Cryptocurrency – Goodreturns

1 March 2021, 10:54 am EST

Interbank market news scan: Central banks shouldn’t try to fight climate change …

Follow the links …

Central banks shouldn’t try to fight climate change, as doing so could endanger financial stability and undermine their independence, a top Czech monetary official said. Central Banks Can’t Fix Climate Change, Czech Policy Maker Says (msn.com)

The European Central Bank will pay the currency bloc’s 19 central banks 1.6 billion euros in dividends this year, down from the 2.4 billion euros it paid a year ago as its profit declined, it said in a statement on Thursday. ECB cuts dividend payment to euro zone central banks | Nasdaq

Deutsche Bank AG scaled back plans for its bonus pool after the European Central Bank objected to proposed payout levels, highlighting the challenges of rewarding top performers while heeding demands for restraint during the global pandemic. Deutsche Bank Cut Bonus Pool Plans After Criticism From ECB (msn.com)

Currency pairsExchange Rate as of 4:15 pm 16 February 2021(1) As of 12:54 pm EST Exchange Rate as of 18 February 2021(2)(3)
AUD/USD0.7762 0.7779
USD/CAD1.2694 1.2701
USD/CNY6.4567 6.4869
EUR/USD1.2126 1.2079
USD/INR72.6000 72.6500
GBP/USD1.3855 1.3948
USD/JPY104.9400 105.7300
USD/MXN19.9300 20.4150
USD/DKK6.1325 6.1593
USD/NOK8.4558 8.4637
BTC/USD  48,358.6000
ETH/USD  1,700.6400
Sources: Federal Reserve (1), Reuters-FX rates (2), OANDA-crypto rates

18 February 2021