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

Interbank market news scan: Europe wants to flex its “digital sovereign” muscle; UN recommendations on illicit cross border finance …

For deeper research and analysis on the following news links, contact us….

Cross border data flows:

Now is the time for Europe to be digitally sovereign,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin say in a joint letter. “We have to foster the Digital Single Market in all its dimensions where innovation can thrive and data flow freely. https://europeansting.com/2021/03/16/what-is-digital-sovereignty-and-why-is-europe-so-interested-in-it/

United Nations targets corruption and illicit cross-border finance. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/united-nations-targets-corruption-and-6325615/

Stablecoins:

Visa CEO Al Kelly dug into the credit card company’s crypto-focused strategy in a podcast appearance this week. https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/98552/visa-ceo-podcast-bitcoin-stablecoins

Dollar stablecoins have become a compelling option for individuals and businesses in markets facing local currency volatility and hyperinflation … https://www.coindesk.com/nigerians-turn-to-stablecoins-for-protection-against-inflation

Decentralized Finance …

Iron Finance is a partially collateralized stablecoin platform based on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

It reported that on March 16, two Iron Finance vFarm pools were “subject to an incident”. This ordeal resulted in the loss of user deposits. https://beincrypto.com/iron-finance-defi-exploit-explained-post-mortem/

8:58 am EST, 17 March 2021

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 scan: China’s interbank market rate drops; Bitcoin sees a little deceleration …

Links to news you should be following …

India’s foreign-exchange reserves surpassed Russia’s to become the world’s fourth largest, as the South Asian nation’s central bank continues to hoard dollars to cushion the economy against any sudden outflows. India FX Reserves Cross Russia to Become World’s 4th Biggest – Bloomberg

Currency tensions and currency crises are a side effect of many countries failing to manage in the new round of economic globalization that has taken place through increasing flows of multilateral trade and investments that have created a world of currency trades causing economies to depend on global reserve currencies, mainly the US Dollar. Science against Myth (msn.com)

During the past month, the total value locked (TVL) in the Bancor Protocol has more than doubled, surpassing the $1.6 billion mark. Bancor, which serves as a liquidity protocol that enables automated, decentralized exchange, reveals that it managed to break into the top 10 projects in terms of TVL and now generates “the fifth highest revenue” of any protocol on Ethereum (as of March 13, 2021). decentralized finance – Bing News

To add more value to the network’s end-users and keep FinNexus at the industry’s cutting edge, its team has been working extremely hard to introduce new features. FinNexus has been developing its ecosystem on all fronts, expanding an established partnership with ChainLink, striving to add a new decentralized product, and introducing an algorithmic stablecoin-based liquidity pool to its platform.  FinNexus developments take its decentralized options platform to the next level | KnowTechie

The overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor), which measures the borrowing cost of China’s interbank market, fell 10.5 basis points to 2.14 percent Tuesday.China’s overnight Shibor interbank rate falls Tuesday – Xinhua | English.news.cn (xinhuanet.com)

Cryptocurrency exchange rates as of 8:35 am EST …

BTC/USD=57,494.80 ETH/USD=1,792.44

BTC/EUR=48,177.40 ETH/EUR=1,501.96

BTC/GBP=41,325.00 ETH/GBP=1,288.34

BTC/AUD=74,221.30 ETH/AUD=2,313.90

BTC/CAD=71,715.70 ETH/CAD=2,235.79

BTC/CHF=53,398.50 ETH/CHF=1,664.74

BTC/JPY=6,274,470.00 ETH/JPY=195,611.00

BTC/CNY=373,759.00 ETH/CNY=11,652.20

Source: OANDA