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)

As 12:45 pm AST, the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum across certain currencies ….

BTC ETH 
BTC/USD=23510.50 ETH/USD=624.02 
BTC/EUR=19,290.00 ETH/EUR=512.00 
BTC/JPY=2,436,310.00 ETH/JPY=64,664.60 
BTC/CNH=153,182.00 ETH/CNH=4,065.75 
BTC/DKK=143,458.00 ETH/DKK=3,807.66 
BTC/CHF=20,933.10 ETH/CHF=555.606 
BTC/GBP=17,330.00 ETH/GBP=459.973 

Legal/Political Events Impacting Cryptocurrencies

No report at this time.

Bitcoin, Ether value in terms of certain currencies …

BTC/USD=23,512.70ETH=610.610
BTC/EUR=19,293.30ETH/EUR=501.034
BTC/JPY=2,433,610.00ETH/JPY=63,199.30
BTC/CNH=153,591.00ETH/CNH=3,988.66
BTC/DKK=143,499.00ETH/DKK=3,756.28
BTC/CHF=20,893.10ETH/CHF=542.580
BTC/GBP=17,480.70ETH/GBP=453.963
Source: OANDA

Legal/Political events impacting cryptocurrency

SEC Issues Statement and Requests Comment Regarding the Custody of Digital Asset Securities by Special Purpose Broker-Dealers

Washington D.C., Dec. 23, 2020 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today issued a statement and request for comment regarding the custody of digital asset securities by broker-dealers in order to encourage innovation around the application of Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c3-3 to digital asset securities.

The statement sets forth the Commission’s position that, for a period of five years, a broker-dealer operating under the circumstances set forth in the statement will not be subject to a Commission enforcement action on the basis that the broker-dealer deems itself to have obtained and maintained physical possession or control of customer fully paid and excess margin digital asset securities for the purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of Rule 15c3-3. These circumstances, among other things, include that the broker-dealer limits its business to digital asset securities, establishes and implements policies and procedures reasonably designed to mitigate the risks associated with conducting a business in digital asset securities, and provides customers with certain disclosures regarding the risks of engaging in transactions involving digital asset securities.

In addition, the Commission is requesting comment to provide the Commission and its staff with an opportunity to gain additional insight into the evolving standards and best practices with respect to custody of digital asset securities. Such insights will serve to inform any potential future Commission action in this space.

The Commission statement and request for comment are published on the Commission’s website and will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Commission welcomes engagement from interested parties on these issues.

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

As of 12:12 pm AST, Bitcoin & Ether continue their climb …

BTC/USD=23,243.40 ETH/USD=623.883

BTC/EUR=19,040.60 ETH/USD=511.073

BTC/JPY=2,404,680 ETH/JPY=64,544.60

BTC/CNH=151,935 ETH/CNH=4,078.12

BTC/DKK=141,646 ETH/DKK=3,801.95

BTC/CHF=20,604 ETH/CHF=553.038

BTC/GBP=17,408.20 ETH/GBP=467.258

Source: OANDA

Legal/Political news impacting crypto markets

CFTC releases guide on position limits rule for exchange-traded futures contracts

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) today released a staff workbook to provide guidance to market participants on which exchange-traded futures contracts would be subject to the position limits rule the Commission approved in October. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8287-20]

“DMO is providing this workbook to market participants to promote transparent regulation of the derivatives markets,” said DMO Director Dorothy DeWitt. “DMO staff has worked extensively with our exchanges to identify the right set of contracts that are referenced futures contracts under our new position limits rule.”

The staff workbook provides a list of the core referenced futures contracts, along with a non-exhaustive list of linked referenced contracts (i.e., cash-settled futures contracts and options on futures contracts that are linked to a core referenced futures contract), that would be subject to federal position limits in connection with the position limits final rule.  

Source: Commodity Futures Trading Commission

As of 8:45 pm AST, the exchange rates for bitcoin and ether in various currencies as Brexit deadline is missed …

BTC/USD=22,898.00 ETR/USD=622.253

BTC/EUR=18,700.50 ETR/USD=507.607

BTC/JPY= 2,367,860 ETR/JPY=64,273.40

BTC/CNH=149,400.00 ETR/CNH=4,055.33

BTC/DKK=139,103.00 ETR/DKK=3,775.82

BTC/CHF=20,241.70 ETR/CHF=549.443

BTC/GBP=16,955.60 ETR/GBP=460.245

Source: OANDA

Legal/Political news impacting cryptocurrencies …

Brexit

Brexit talks are being described as “difficult” as the United Kingdom continues discussions with the European Union over their trading relationship. Bloomberg reported that talks would resume between the European Union and the United Kingdom on Monday. The two major issues dogging the talks are access to fishing waters and subsidies for businesses.

Pandemic Relief

Reuters reports that both chambers of Congress have reached agreement on a bill to provide relief for the ill effects of the pandemic. The bill calls for $900 billion in relief spending. The bill provides for $600 in direct payments to individuals and an additional $300 a week in unemployment payments.