Foreign exchange and crypto rates seen by Atlanta’s immigrant community as of 8:43 am

EUR/USD=1.1296

GBP/USD=1.3483

USD/MXN=20.6354

USD/GTQ=7.5185

USD/NGN=414.7150

USD/GHS=6.1835

USD/VND=22,640.4000

USD/JPY=113.8900

USD/INR=74.6339

USD/BTC=0.00003

USD/ETH=0.00041

Source: OANDA

Sofi Bank, NA approved on condition that it doesn’t play in the cryptocurrency space …

Released 18 January 2022

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today conditionally approved applications from Social Finance Inc. (SoFi) to create SoFi Bank, National Association (SoFi Bank, N.A.), as a full service national bank headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. As part of the transaction, SoFi Bank, N.A. will acquire Golden Pacific Bank, National Association, a national bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Upon consummation of this transaction, SoFi Bank, N.A., will have $5.3 billion in total assets and $718 million in capital at the end of the first year of operation, and will continue to offer a range of local commercial-focused loan offerings and deposit products previously offered by Golden Pacific. The bank will also provide a fully digital, mobile-first national lending platform for consumers across the country. The conditions imposed require specific capital contributions, adherence to an Operating Agreement, and confirmation that the resulting bank will not engage in any crypto-asset activities or services. In addition, the parent company of SoFi Bank, N.A., SoFi Technologies, has applied to the Federal Reserve to become a bank holding company and therefore subject to consolidated supervision.

“Today’s decision brings SoFi, a large fintech, inside the federal bank regulatory perimeter, where it will be subject to comprehensive supervision and the full panoply of bank regulations, including the Community Reinvestment Act. This levels the playing field and will ensure that SoFi’s deposit and lending activities are conducted safely and soundly, including limiting the bank’s ability to engage in crypto-asset activities,” Acting Comptroller Hsu said. “This action is consistent with the comprehensive legal and policy review of pending licensing decisions I initiated last May, and our work with other federal and state regulators to develop a coordinated approach to modernizing the federal regulatory perimeter. Like every other national bank we supervise, the OCC will require SoFi Bank, N. A., to be adequately capitalized, have strong risk management programs, policies and procedures in place, and provide fair treatment to its customers.”

Source: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Chipping away at government’s currency monopoly status … and MMT does not help.

Modern monetary theory appears to convey on money the characteristics of a utility.  Under MMT, as monopoly issuers of money, governments and central banks can print as much money as they want without considering the implications from deficits or inflation, and if inflation is a concern, it can be offset with increases in taxes.

An unregulated, natural monopoly can get away with manipulating the supply of its product by freely changing the price for its output.  It can reduce the price of its output when it observes a competitive threat in the form of a new firm attempting to enter the utility’s market and when the new entrant is vanquished, it can then raise its prices to take advantage of customers captured in the emboldened single-provider market.

Bank trading desks input central bank overnight rates and discount window rates into their exchange rates for reselling currency and while they expend resources forecasting a central bank’s next policy rate move, they are apparently beholden to central bank decisions over which they have little to no say.

I can imagine that indirectly bank trading desks via their local reserve banks convey messages to the Federal Reserve that the current state of the economy may call for rates to move in a particular direction.  How much influence they may have I cannot provide any definitive answers to that question.

If anything, it does not appear that modern monetary theory is concerned about introducing a competitive component into the money monopoly held by the government and the central bank.  MMT is in part a tactic for buying votes from the electorate.  The more money that can be printed, the more goodies that government can purchase in order to sway votes to a particular party.  But going back to its utility component, the question how can we make the monopoly market on money more competitive could be raised.

For example, if cryptocurrency proponents were really serious about crypto being a technology that facilitates banking for the underserved, there would be as intense an effort to build an underlying political economy that networks the agricultural, transportation, electric/water/gas utilities, and service sectors such that there is significant use of crypto to buy and sell services. 

While this network is being established, crypto proponents should also work diligently on protecting the interchangeability of crypto with the current legal tender in order to maintain compliance with the tax payment requirements of the government.  While the federal government may be the sole collector of national taxes, the primary aim of crypto proponents should be to provide a viable alternative to the federal government as a national currency issuer.  

What could a viable alternative currency issuer look like? They could look like Archer Midland Daniels, Delta Air Lines, or Amazon.  They would be individual large suppliers of platforms that are already used to exchange goods, services, or ideas.  These individual platforms could interconnect in order to increase the value of their offerings and the currency (tokens) that ride on top of their platforms.  Their major issue would be to coordinate with government regarding a legal framework that allows for one-to-one interchangeability of their “currency” with that of the federal government.  

 Alton Drew

29.11.2021

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Disclaimer: The above is provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as financial or legal advice or as creating an agreement to provide financial or legal advice.

Interstate Market News Scan: Moving to digital currencies benefit you if it reduces your tax on living …

Suppose your monthly cost for accessing the infrastructure of a political economy came up to $20?  Suppose you looked at nation-states more like trading posts versus some object of irrational affection to which you pledge love and devotion?  Shouldn’t a practical approach to living in a political economy involve a resident generating a higher return on their physical and intellectual efforts to make a living where that tax for living is severely reduced?

In some ways, nations compete in this manner.  While they may not want to dilute their populations and cultures with outsiders, they want to attract investment into their jurisdictions.  Lower taxes, a reliable legal framework, a stable political environment, and minimal roadblocks to getting capital out of a country help bolster the demand for a nation’s currency.  Given the US dollar’s world reserve status, you can argue that the US scores the highest, on average, on these factors.

There are cracks in the demand for the US dollar that currency merchants should remain mindful of.  America has been experiencing real wage stagnation for over four decades.  Masking that long term trend is the immediate concern that inflation may be getting out of control as the U.S. and the rest of the globe claw out of the pandemic.  But Covid-19 may have sped up the long-expected elimination of certain jobs and has raised the discussion about how the American political economy will adjust to this major shift.

Currency merchants should incorporate these shifts into the valuation of currencies as they continue to make markets.  Currency merchants should not take their eyes off of the growing importance of digital currencies going forward into a Covid-endemic world.  This Covid environment will spawn more value creation from residences and other remote locations.  I will not be surprised to see in the next twenty years a world where more material and goods production happens overseas and payments for that production is made via digital currencies.  A processing plant in Ghana, for example, can be seen accepting Amazon, Google, or Delta Air digital tokens in exchange for product.  Given the networks these commercial entities represent or manage, their tokens could be re-exchanged as payment by the processing plants for other goods and services or exchanged with their local banks for cedi.

Not too far-fetched is the idea that an individual or a business could move their entire commercial enterprise into an Amazon network; an Amazon political economy.  If you can rent a residence using Amazon coin; purchase energy using an Amazon coin; buy food using Amazon coin; and pay a monthly “tax” at a fraction of what you would pay a legacy nation-state, wouldn’t you?

Alton Drew

For a consultation on any regulatory or legislative discussions or announcements, please reach out to us at altondrew@altondrew.com for information on consultation rates and to reserve an appointment.

Prices

Exchange rates of interest as of 6:44 pm EST

Currency pairExchange rate
AUD/USD*0.7334
EUR/USD*1.1866
GBP/USD*1.3895
USD/CAD*1.2473
USD/CHF*0.9054
USD/JPY*109.6700
USD/MXN*19.8540
USD/BTC+0.0000
USD/ETH+0.0004
Sources: *Reuters +OANDA

Rates reported by the Federal Reserve (Release Date 29 July 2021)

Effective Fed Funds Rate: 0.10%

Discount Window:  0.25%

Prime Bank Rate: 3.25%

3-month Treasury bill: 0.05%

6-month Treasury bill: 0.05%

1-year Treasury bill: 0.07%

Interbank Market News Scan: The crypto-digital world finds the fiat currency worthless …

30 July 2021

The Takeaway: The crypto-digital world finds the fiat currency worthless …

The past couple posts I have been harping on whether Amazon or Facebook can create a viable digital nation-state.  Right now, I am putting Amazon in lead, but if Facebook can create a more viable transactions-based economy rather than relying on being a pure private data aggregator and reseller, then Facebook may have the potential in the longer run to rival Amazon.

For now, occupants of the digital world are not placing any crypto-monetary value on fiat currencies.  I don’t see this no-value perspective changing any time soon on the part of digital world residents.  For example, according to OANDA data from twelve months ago, USD/ETH was priced at .0031.  Today, the price of USD/ETH is at .0004.  I believe the more closed-loop the digital world can remain, the less the digital world’s demand for fiat currency. 

Holders of cryptocurrency are still interested in holding crypto as an asset versus a medium of exchange for trade even though the rhetoric is quick to describe crypto as a payment system as well. Examples of commercial entities accepting crypto as payment should be discounted by the preference for holding crypto as an asset versus medium of exchange.

On the other hand, I am mindful that on a global basis crypto as a medium of exchange is creeping into consumer mindset with El Salvador’s decision to accept crypto as legal tender.  It is way too early to tell what degree of success crypto will see in the Central American nation.  In the meantime, public policy in the United States is to treat cryptocurrency as a digital asset and until the time comes where legacy nation-states view the digital world as a trade partner, USD/ETH and USD/BTC will be priced at zero for a while.

Alton Drew

For a consultation on any regulatory or legislative discussions or announcements, please reach out to us at altondrew@altondrew.com for information on consultation rates and to reserve an appointment.

Rates reported by the Federal Reserve (Release Date 29 July 2021)

Effective Fed Funds Rate: 0.10%

Discount Window:  0.25%

Prime Bank Rate: 3.25%

3-month Treasury bill: 0.05%

6-month Treasury bill: 0.05%

1-year Treasury bill: 0.07%

Prices

Exchange rates of interest as of 9:49 am EST

Currency pairExchange rate
AUD/USD*0.7371
EUR/USD*1.1884
GBP/USD*1.3965
USD/CAD*1.2434
USD/CHF*0.9061
USD/JPY*109.6500
USD/MXN*19.8480
USD/BTC+0.0000
USD/ETH+0.0004
Sources: *Reuters +OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: France takes a closer look at Apple, Google as payment systems, platforms …

Foreign currency exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 10:28 am EST 28 April 2021Rates as of 9:13 am EST 29 April 2021Increase/decrease in pips
EUR/USD1.18771.1877No change
GBP/USD1.38961.3831-65
USD/CAD1.25461.2551+5
AUD/USD0.76130.7625+12
USD/JPY110.6250110.0830-5,420
USD/NOK8.51948.5035-159
USD/CHF0.92950.9135-160
USD/SEK8.71668.7177+11
USD/MEX20.257120.2571No change
USD/XCD2.70002.7000No change
USD/JMD147.1020145.180-19,220
USD/DOP56.157556.1575No change
USD/HTG79.338283.8141+44,759
USD/BSD1.00001.0000No change
Source: OANDA

News links you should be following …

Payment systems. The Bank of Thailand (BoT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today launched the linkage of Thailand’s PromptPay and Singapore’s PayNow real-time retail payment systems. In a joint statement, the BoT and MAS said the linkage, the first of its kind globally, will enable customers of participating banks in Thailand and Singapore to transfer funds of up to S$1,000 or 25,000 baht daily across the two countries, using just a mobile number. Thailand, Singapore launch world’s first linkage of real-time payment systems | The Edge Markets

Payment systems. The launch of Saudi Arabia’s first instant payments system is another step towards the kingdom’s ambitious proposals to have a 70 percent cashless society as part of the Saudi’s Vision 2030, according to Takreem El-Tohamy, general manager, IBM Middle East and Africa. Saudi launches instant payment system in drive towards cashless society – Arabianbusiness

Payment systems. Embracing new payment rails, and enhancing the value of existing ones, remains a key part of promoting overall payment innovation. But as real-time payment networks proliferate, a new challenge is on the rise: enabling interoperability between these rails on both a domestic and international scale. Real-Time Payments Seek Interoperability | PYMNTS.com

Payment systems. Digital payment services developed by U.S. tech giants such as Apple and Alphabet’s Google risk reinforcing their market power by giving them greater sway over consumers’ data, France’s antitrust authority said on Thursday. French watchdog warns of big tech’s sway over payment services (yahoo.com)

Payment systems. The government is committed to implementing the electronic wages or “e-wages” system as soon as possible to ensure employees get paid in “real-time”, following the wake of the apparent suicide of a foreign worker several weeks ago over allegations of unpaid wages. HR minister vows e-wages system to ensure ’real-time’ payment, after employee’s death (msn.com)

Central banks. Cryptocurrencies aren’t going anywhere in the coming years, but their usage will probably decline when central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are eventually rolled out, according to Deutsche Bank International Private Bank. Cryptocurrencies will survive the rise of central bank-backed digital coins, but their use will likely decline, Deutsche Bank says | Currency News | Financial and Business News | Markets Insider (businessinsider.com)

Central banks. Central bank digital cash could give new types of businesses access to ultra-cheap central bank funding and lessen the role of big banks in settling large transfers, a senior Bank of France official said on Thursday. Central bank e-cash could ‘challenge’ role of big banks, Bank of France says | Reuters

Cryptocurrency, ether, bitcoin. Ether hit an all-time high Thursday as bitcoin’s dominance of the cryptocurrency market declined. The world’s second-largest digital currency by market value surged to a fresh record of $2,774 Thursday morning, according to data from Coin Metrics. Bitcoin, the top digital coin, was slightly lower at a price of $54,471. Digital currency ether hits a record high, stealing bitcoin’s limelight (msn.com)

Interbank Market News Scan: Iran finds an end around on US sanctions by providing crypto an underlying economy…

Foreign exchange rates of interest ….

Currency PairsRates as of 4:46 pm EST 26 April 2021Rates as of 6:20 am EST 27 April 2021Increase/decrease in pips
EUR/USD1.18901.1897+7
GBP/USD1.38691.3855-14
USD/CAD1.25681.2568No change
AUD/USD0.76020.7613+11
USD/JPY110.5960110.6250+290
USD/NOK8.52458.5186-59
USD/CHF0.94170.9421+4
USD/SEK8.71778.7166-7
USD/MEX20.284420.2953+109
USD/XCD2.70002.7000No change
USD/JMD144.9940145.1800+1,860
USD/DOP56.316456.3164No change
USD/HTG79.085979.0859No change
USD/BSD1.00001.0000No change
Source: OANDA

News links you should be following …

Payment systems. The share of Russian exports settled in US dollars has dropped below 50%. The decline, recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflects Moscow’s policy of cutting the Russian economy’s reliance on the greenback. Most Russian exports have now kicked reliance on US dollar as payment currency — RT Business News

Payment systems. Amazon is expanding its palm-scanning payment system to a Whole Foods store in Seattle, the company announced Wednesday, the first of many planned rollouts at other locations. Amazon will initially roll out Amazon One at the Whole Foods in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, not far from the company’s headquarters, before launching the system at seven Seattle-area Whole Foods in coming months. Amazon is bringing palm-scanning payment system to Whole Foods stores (msn.com)

Payment systems. Business technology company Deluxe (DLX) has agreed to acquire First American Payment Systems for $960 million in cash, the company said in a statement. Deluxe believes that this deal will accelerate the company’s transformation into a leading payments technology company as part of its “One Deluxe” strategy. Deluxe To Buy First American Payment Systems For $960 Mln Cash | Nasdaq

Central banks, Riksbank. Sweden’s central bank kept monetary policy unchanged on Tuesday as expected, vowing to support the economy as long as needed amid uncertainty over the speed of recovery from the effects of the pandemic. Swedish central bank leaves policy unchanged amid COVID uncertainty | Nasdaq

Central banks, Central Bank of Iran. A developing strategy to mitigate the crippling effect of economic sanctions could see cryptocurrencies being used by Iranian firms to pay for imports such as raw materials and electronics. Iran is continuing to explore the potential use of cryptocurrency as a tool for mitigating the devastating impact of economic sanctions imposed by the United States.  Iran’s central bank says officially mined crypto can be used to pay for imports (cointelegraph.com)

Central banks, Riksbank. A period with inflation over the 2% target of the Swedish central bank would not be a big problem, Governor Stefan Ingves said on Tuesday after the central bank kept policy unchanged. Swedish c.bank’s Ingves says not big worry if inflation overshoots (msn.com)

Interbank market news scan: Facebook’s Diem can help the dollar remain the global reserve currency …

Links to follow today ….

Central banks, ECB. Global stocks held steady on Thursday ahead of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy update and despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Europe being extended and cases rising globally. Global stocks stabilize ahead of European Central Bank meeting despite steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Asia | Markets Insider (businessinsider.com)

Central banks, Norway. Norway’s central bank will test various technical solutions for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) over the next two years, it said on Thursday. Norway to test solutions for digital central bank currency | Nasdaq

Central banks, Canada. The Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada will use drastically different playbooks for the remainder of their nations’ respective economic recoveries. The US central bank has indicated it will leave rates near zero for the foreseeable future, and that it isn’t even considering reining in its emergency asset purchases. Canada’s central bank is taking surprising steps to cool the nation’s red-hot virus recovery – and the approach directly conflicts with the Fed’s ultra-easy stance, even with the US further along (msn.com)

Central banks, remittances, Kenya. Remittance inflows into Kenya in March were up 27% year on year to $290.8 million, the central bank said on Wednesday. Kenya’s remittance inflows in March up 27% yr/yr -central bank | Reuters

Central banks, United Kingdom, ECB. Sterling slipped on Thursday, holding below $1.40 before a European Central Bank meeting, as investors weighed up the outlook for an economic recovery from COVID-19 in the UK. Sterling slips versus euro; currency markets quiet ahead of ECB meeting | Nasdaq

Central banks, Facebook, cryptocurrency. Now known as diem, the Facebook-backed digital coin is expected to launch later this year, albeit in a much more limited form. When it finally arrives, diem won’t come with the same fanfare and controversy of the original idea envisioned by the social media giant nearly two years ago. Facebook-backed Diem aims to launch digital currency pilot in 2021 (cnbc.com)

Central banks, ECB, digital currency. Only a few years ago, central bank digital currency (CBDC) was seen as something exotic. Sweden’s Riksbank was alone among high-income countries in exploring it, a fact attributed to its population’s uniquely low use of cash. Now official e-currencies have gone mainstream. www.ft.com

The market opening. The rates to start your day ….

As of 8:10 am EST, Bloomberg reports that the yield on the three-month Treasury note is at 0.01%, down from yesterday’s 0.03% while the two-year note remained at yesterday’s 0.15% rate. The ten-year and thirty-year Treasurys are trading at 1.57% and 2.27%, respectively and relatively unchanged from yesterday.

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%. All three rates unchanged from yesterday.

Exchange rates of interest as of 8:45 am EST….

Currency PairsRates as of 8:45 am EST 22 April 2021Rates as of 9:55 am EST 21 April 2021Percentage change in rates
EUR/USD1.17931.2024-1.9%
GBP/USD1.37851.3891-.0076%
USD/CAD1.25721.2629-.0045%
CAD/XCD2.14622.1462unchanged
USD/XCD2.70002.7000unchanged
USD/TTD6.66916.6721-.0004%
USD/BBD2.00002.0000unchanged
CAD/TTD5.30125.3050unchanged
CAD/BBD1.58991.5874unchanged
Source: OANDA

The Opening Takeaway: Could Facebook’s cryptocurrency be the longer term digital play?

Facebook appears to be leveraging the experience it has garnered on America’s Capitol Hill. When the Facebook-backed digital coin Libra found itself targeted by backlash from members of Congress, the company and its stable coin project partners had to go back to the drawing board which included a rebrand of the coin (from Libra to Diem); a little reorganizing of the stable coin project’s membership; and pursuing a payment services license from Switzerland’s financial regulators. See Facebook-backed Diem aims to launch digital currency pilot in 2021 (cnbc.com).

By going the stable coin route, where a cryptocurrency pegs its value to the value of a country’s currency, in this case, the United States, Facebook and its Diem partners, knowingly or not, have made baby steps to pacifying government critics in the US who are concerned about Diem’s threat to the stability of the US political-economic system. This is simply code for “We have to stop Facebook from disrupting our tax and customs regime.” The claims of concern over privacy also seem a bit bogus given that Congress has passed up a number of times over the last decade and a half to promulgate any comprehensive laws that would not only have codified network neutrality but also privacy over America’s digital networks. Besides, as the US slowly gets to testing its own central bank issued digital coin, it too will have to address why taxpayers should be less concerned about government intrusion into privacy as opposed to Facebook.

Facebook is in a position to leverage its network effect generated by over 2 billion daily users and its e-commerce and advertising platform. Its subscribers can enjoy some sort of “dual nation” status where they exchange goods and services on Facebook’s platform using Diem, thus creating a sense of exclusivity. Sort of like an Amazon Prime membership on steroids where only members i.e. Diem-using subscribers, can come and play. And knowing that Diem can be exchanged for US dollars will put Facebook subscribers’ minds at ease. If the Facebook subscriber is not concerned about convertibility, then the US government should have less of a consumer protection argument to throw around.

Another potential benefit may carry over to the Federal Reserve. As it hems and haws over the development of a central bank issued digital currency, it could study the Facebook template, observing in real time how a digital nation-state operates. Also, there is the potential for a test case for conducting digital foreign currency exchange made easier due to Diem being a stable coin.

Lastly, from a foreign policy perspective, the US should look favorably on more of the world’s economies having indirect access to the dollar via Facebook’s stable coin. Using, buying, and selling Diem amounts to using, buying, and selling US dollars. This indirect use of the greenback would keep the dollar out front as the world’s reserve currency.

Alton Drew

Interbank market news scan: Jamaica closer to testing central bank digital currencies; Bitcoin is the world’s 3rd largest currency in total value …

The Strategic Takeaway: Governments of varying size from the United States to Jamaica are ready to compete with the threat alternative digital currencies like bitcoin poses to nation-state payment systems. Traders and investors should keep their eyes on the long term viability of cryptocurrencies in the current political environment. Even as larger financial institutions consider bitcoin as a hedge against declines in other assets including the dollar and consumers see more opportunities to use cryptocurrencies to purchase goods and services, nation-states will only tolerate the threat to their payment systems for so long.

Cryptocurrency issuers and the exchanges that support them will have to make the political and legal arguments that support their incorporation into a nation-state’s payment system. Central bank digital currencies have the potential of offering a faster payments system for the average consumer. Claims of decentralization, anonymity, and democratization of finance may fall on deaf ears if central bank digital currencies offer the average consumer a significant improvement over what the consumer is comfortable with.

In the meantime, cryptocurrency stakeholders should be prepared for closer regulatory scrutiny including threats of stringent regulation especially if there are either mass losses in cryptocurrency valuations or if investors are subjected to massive and/or frequent amounts of fraud.

Cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a financial instrument over the last year, but have reached new heights over the last quarter, becoming financial equality tools and placing power back in the hands of investors. How cryptomarkets revolutionised financial freedom (raconteur.net)

Stablecoins. Thailand’s central bank said it will issue regulations on asset-backed stablecoins this year after warning against the illegal use of a new baht-denominated stablecoin that was created outside the country. Thai Central Bank to Regulate Stablecoins This Year | Nasdaq

Cryptocurrencies. Now the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Cardano (CCC:ADA-USD) is alive with buzz in the crypto community. Indeed, Cardano is one of those alt coins that gets less attention these days, mainly due to the sheer size of rivals Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) 3 Reasons Why Cardano Has Outperformed So Impressively (yahoo.com)

Central Bank Digital Currency. Most of global payments are already digital, yet a central bank digital currency would provide risk-free, central-bank backed money denominated in a national unit of account — like cash, though updated to the demands of a digital financial system. Here’s How a Central Bank Digital Currency Could Work (msn.com)

Central Bank Digital Currency. After quietly exploring the viability of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for some time, Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) took the decision in May 2020, as a part of our ongoing retail payments reform, to venture into this digital innovation that is fast becoming a feature of global central banks. A primer on BOJ’s central bank digital currency (jamaicaobserver.com)

Cryptocurrency. Deutsche Bank has published a report stating that bitcoin is too important to ignore, noting that it is now the third-largest currency in terms of the total value in circulation. Deutsche Bank: Bitcoin Now 3rd Largest Currency, Too Important to Ignore – Markets and Prices Bitcoin News

Currency pair20 January 202122 March 2021Percentage change
ADA/USD *.381.18210.5
BTC/USD36,841.7058,335.0058.3
ETH/USD1,358.491,813.6833.5
LTC/USD159.13200.6526.1
Source: OANDA *Yahoo Finance

Interbank market news scan: Fed chair opines on necessity for an improved payments system and testing central bank digital currencies…

The Takeaway: Soon after issuing a statement on the fed funds rate and how warranted attention paid to rising yields should be, Federal Reserve Board chairman Jerome Powell remarked today about the need to further strengthen the global payments system with emphasis on its cross border nature. Mr Powell also provided an update on the testing of central bank digital currencies. Stakeholders in the payments system may want to pay attention to how intermediaries are treated in a central bank digital currency regime.

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

Crypto Exchanges: “Bitcoin is the most talked about cryptocurrency but Ethereum [the blockchain] has more features, including being more flexible” in its hosting of decentralized finance (DeFi) than the Bitcoin blockchain, according to Bank of America. Bank of America Sees DeFi ‘Potentially More Disruptive Than Bitcoin’ – CoinDesk

Decentralized Finance: Reputation-based lending is coming to decentralized finance (DeFi) next month with the release of Maple Finance’s “Pool Delegates” lending suite. Maple Finance Raises $1.4M for Its Reputation-Based DeFi Lending Platform (yahoo.com)

Crypto Exchanges: A number of venture capital giants have completed a financing round for Ethereum-based volatility and derivatives protocol Volmex Finance. Volatility derivatives project Volmex Finance attracts backing from VC giants (cointelegraph.com)

Crypto Prices: Bitcoin’s (BTC) price slid Thursday, retreating along with U.S. stocks and oil prices as U.S. Treasury yields touched some of the highest levels in a year. https://www.coindesk.com/market-wrap-bitcoin-loses-steam-60k-bond-yields

Yields: Rising U.S. bond yields will not hurt Asia’s emerging markets as badly as they did during the “taper tantrum” eight years ago, according to a report by S&P Global Ratings. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/18/asias-emerging-economies-can-withstand-rising-us-yields-says-sp.html

Central Banks: Both of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England vowed to keep liquidity plentiful and not to taper support in the face of rising inflation until they see prolonged signs of an economic recovery. The FOMC served up a surprise with the majority of the dots flat through 2023. Both USD and GBP fell sharply after their respective central banks’ decisions before later stabilizing. Fed, BoE step back, yields push up (fxstreet.com)

Payments System: Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell offers remarks on improving the payments system. Closing remarks by Chair Powell at a conference hosted by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures – Federal Reserve Board

Currency pairs that include top countries with foreign direct investment in the US …

The majority of foreign direct investment in the United States is held by Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Luxembourg. Since the Biden administration has taken office, the dollar-yen and dollar-euro have seen appreciation (4.9% and 1.5%, respectively), while the dollar-pound and the dollar-loonie have fallen, 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively.

Currency pair20 January 202119 March 2021Percentage change
USD/JPY103.9300108.99004.9
USD/GBP0.73450.7170-2.4
USD/CAD1.27311.2433-2.3
USD/EUR (1)0.82540.83741.5
Source: OANDA (1) The euro is the currency of France, German, and Luxembourg

18 March 2021, 9:46 pm EST