The Central Bank of Spain published its Strategic Plan for 2020-2024, describing the objectives and strategies it will follow to boost its economy and adapt the country’s finances to the requirements of the modern era, and a CBDC is one of its priorities.
The digital world is stealing the attention of the Spaniards. In its “Analysis and research priorities for the Banco de España: 2020-2024“, the Central Bank said it will prioritize the study of the legal, technological and financial framework surrounding the issuance of a possible CBDC to optimize the efficiency of banking processes.
Publicamos las prioridades de análisis e investigación del @BancoDeEspana para 2020-2024 en el contexto de nuestro #PlanEstratégico https://t.co/dGbwsx7adc
El gobernador #bdeHdeCos lo explica 📽️ https://t.co/81br6OLqpk #bdePrensa pic.twitter.com/iXFdUXPwGf
— Banco de España (@BancoDeEspana) October 16, 2020
A Spanish Currency on a Cadena de Bloques?
In a chapter dedicated to the development of “new technologies,” the Central Bank of Spain describes these innovations as a challenge for banks —which is why fintechs grew so much in recent years— but emphasizes the need to implement new solutions as society demands for more efficient processes over time.
The development of a digital currency falls within these “new technologies,” and the report shows an optimistic outlook on its potential:
Also, the use of these technologies can improve services the central bank provides, such as those relating to payment means, allowing for possibilities such as the introduction of digital currency, whose implications and design should be analyzed in depth.
There is a strong movement around the use of blockchain beyond token speculation in Spain. As an example, telecom corporation Telefonica deployed the largest private blockchain in the country, the Alastria association has developed multiple blockchain applications for digital identity, supply chain tracking, and enterprise solutions, and several regional universities started to apply this technology to combat the academic fraud so common in the region.
Considering this, it comes as no surprise that the Central Bank of Spain considers a CBDC to be a priority. The Bank didn’t give many details about the CBDC but assured it will consider various technological options to build that solution:
The implications for the financial system and the economy as a whole of the introduction of a central bank digital currency will be analyzed, considering various design proposals and including aspects relating to digital identification.
Spain is Not The Only Country Competing For The World’s First CBDC
This shift in interest is also a reaction to the global geopolitical landscape. The president of the Central Bank of Europe -and former president of the International Monetary Fund- Christine Lagarde, has shown her interest in a Digital Euro without ruling out blockchain technology for its development.
There is also a silent race to digitize the economy and get ahead of China in this aspect. Italy, The Netherlands, Estonia, France, Japan and even the United States have shown interest in developing a CBDC or at least using blockchain technology on their banking infraestructure, but are working slower than the Asian giant.
As with any strategic plan, the various divisions and autonomous agencies now need to define the multiple actions and goals aimed at fulfilling the Central Bank of Spain’s vision within their Annual Operational Plans. And although we are still far from seeing a Spanish currency running in the blockchain, the foundations laid by this plan allow for a clearer image of the future.
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Ripple Move to UK or Singapore Possible After Garlinghouse Praises Both Regulatory Authorities
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse pays tribute to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, as well as the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
In a tweet, Garlinghouse spoke highly of the way each regulatory authority oversees their respective territories. Going further, Garlinghouse said it’s no wonder that both the UK and Singapore have burgeoning crypto industries.
1/ UK’s FCA and Singapore’s MAS have been leaders for years in providing clarity on using/trading assets – no surprise that both countries have traditional FIs leaning into using this technology. DBS’ (pre)announcement today is a prime example. (1/2) https://t.co/xB3dUUG9sV
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) October 27, 2020
Ripple To Leave The U.S.?
The comments come as a follow on from Ripple’s threat to leave the U.S. over the lack of regulatory clarity.
News of this first gained widespread attention at the start of October, when Ripple CTO Chris Larsen voiced his increasing frustrations over the U.S.’s hostile stance towards the crypto industry.
Much of this frustration comes from, what Larsen perceives as, a regulatory body that favors Bitcoin and Ethereum. But, more than that, he said the upshot to all of this sees the U.S. far behind China in the “tech cold war“.
“Instead of pivoting to encourage U.S. innovation to keep up, they’ve done the opposite. They gave Bitcoin and Ethereum a pass, proof-of-work systems that benefit China, weirdly. But everything else is still in limbo, or worse, kind of regulated through enforcement.”
As a result, some observers have slammed Ripple over their threat to leave the U.S. But Garlinghouse was quick to defend the firm by deflecting blame on the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He then went on to say that “fleeing” the U.S. is not something he wants to do. However, given the state of the U.S. crypto landscape, he is forced to consider setting up elsewhere.
“Some have suggested Ripple is “fleeing” the US, let me unequivocally say this is absolutely not the case. We’re a proud US-based company, and would like to stay here but a lack of regulatory clarity and level playing field is forcing us to evaluate other jurisdictions.“
Fractured And Inconsistent Crypto Framework
To illustrate his point, Garlinghouse spoke about the lack of a single national crypto framework in the U.S.
“The lack of a single national regulatory framework is putting US innovation and US companies at a significant disadvantage. All we’re asking for is a level playing field – if we need to move to another country to get that, then that’s the path we will have to take.“
He added that eight different US regulatory bodies each hold a different view on the legal standing of crypto. And without a unified approach, conducting crypto business in the U.S. is a guessing game.
However, last week’s DOJ report lists 8 separate US reg bodies each with a different view: crypto is property, crypto is a commodity, crypto is a virtual currency, crypto is a security, etc. Regulation shouldn’t be a guessing game. https://t.co/B18ZIVodZC (3/5)
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) October 12, 2020
As well as the UK and Singapore, rumors have surfaced that Ripple is also considering Switzerland and Japan as possible destinations for a relocation.
XRP is currently trading in an ascending channel; breaking the $0.2550 level could see the start of a strong rally. Today, the price of XRP is down 3% to $0.2458.
Source: XRPUSDT on Tradingview.com
Why Should Traders and Investors Trade Cryptocurrencies With a CFD Broker Like Moneta Markets?
Cryptocurrencies have risen in popularity at an exponential rate over the past few years, and while it’s somewhat romanticized by many because of their disconnection between banks and institutions, traders and investors are increasingly wanting the security of having regulatory protection when trading cryptos. As a regulated CFD broker, we’re able to offer them access to crypto markets via our crypto CFD products. We’ve seen a number of crypto exchanges hacked over the past several years with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tokens stolen that are unable to ever be recovered, and by offering crypto CFDs we’re able to provide a safe and regulated environment for clients to capitalise on the price movements of cryptocurrencies.
Also, depending on the region, an increasing number of financial institutions block or refuse transactions from Crypto exchanges, so for an investor or trader wanting to gain exposure to the crypto markets it’s increasingly difficult to withdraw funds from an exchange. By offering crypto CFDs we are offering clients who want exposure to crypto markets a safe and secure environment to do so with no barriers for withdrawing their funds if and when they choose to.
Another advantage of trading crypto CFDs with Moneta Markets is that there’s the potential to profit regardless of the direction, so traders of all styles can take advantage of rising prices by trading long, as well as capitalising on falling prices by short selling. And, because Moneta Markets’ crypto CFDs are leveraged, traders are able to capitalise not only from smaller market movements, but increased market exposure with lower trading capital.
Moneta Markets also offer cryptocurrency deposits in addition to fiat, why was this introduced?
A key component of Moneta Markets’ brand proposition is that we’re a client-centric FinTech company. As such, it’s imperative that we are able to live up to that claim by meeting and exceeding the expectations of our clients when it comes to keeping up with new technologies, and even more so when it comes to a game-changing technology such as cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay, they’re the future of financial transactions so it makes perfect sense to be able to offer our clients the option to fund their account using cryptos, and to be honest I’m quite surprised that we are one of the few CFD brokers to offer cryptocurrency as an option for deposits and withdrawals.
The demand to implement crypto account funding came not only from the appeal as their own tradable product, but many clients quite like the fact that they don’t need to disclose their bank account or credit card details to fund their trading account. Also, it’s just so accessible – there are no international borders when it comes to cryptocurrencies and costs are typically extremely low, if not zero.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to giving clients what they want, as well as making it as easy as possible for them to access the products that they want to trade.
You mentioned being client-centric, what does that mean to you?
Moneta Markets was created specifically to cater to traders who want to access a wide range of products through our next-generation WebTrader platform. Traders are tired of the clunky old MT4/MT5 model which has failed to evolve with the industry. By leveraging the best in web-based technology we’re able to offer traders access to global markets across any operating system and mobile device, wherever there’s an internet connection.
We worked tirelessly to create a product that is the direct result of client feedback received over the past 10+ years. As touched on above, offering crypto CFDs to trade as well as cryptocurrency funding was all part of this feedback, and as we continue to receive feedback whether related to introducing new crypto CFDs and funding methods via new tokens/coins, feedback surrounding our trading platform, or any other component of our business, we’ll continue to build upon what we offer, to create the perfect trading environment for traders of all instruments.
What does the future hold for Moneta Markets, and the industry at large?
We’re in the middle of a major transitional period in global markets, and it’s quite exciting. Many followers of cryptocurrency subscribe to the idea that it will eventually replace fiat currency, and while this idea also has its fair share of critics, it’s here to stay in some capacity and I think it would be foolish to think otherwise. While I don’t think we’ll see the death of fiat any time soon, especially when it comes to Forex and foreign exchange in general, it is important that we continue to make cryptocurrencies available for clients, and include cryptocurrency as an accepted method for account deposits and withdrawals.
For us as a broker, we are excited about how things are continually evolving within not only the crypto space but the FinTech sector, and as a company that thrives off innovation, we look forward to adapting with it. The CFD industry is fast-paced, and as a tech-driven company we’re thrilled to be a part of something as revolutionary as the ‘crypto era’ and we look forward to seeing the true potential of not only cryptocurrencies but blockchain technology as a whole.
EU Invests $1 Billion in Blockchain Tech and Artificial Intelligence
A vehicle of the European Union called the European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed six equity agreements with venture capital funds to support businesses under the EU’s InnovFin Artificial Intelligence…
A vehicle of the European Union called the European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed six equity agreements with venture capital funds to support businesses under the EU’s InnovFin Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain initiative.
These agreements amount to more than $800 million available to support blockchain and AI startups across Europe through the equity funds in Austria, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The fund will target B2B software, data/analytics, the Internet of Things, smart cities, automation, language and machine learning, software as a service, fintech, cybersecurity and the future of work.
“It is a priority for Europe to be at the forefront of the development of artificial intelligence/blockchain technology in order to remain competitive and improve people’s lives, bringing major benefits to our society and economy,” EIF’s Chief Executive Alain Godard said before adding:
“Europe is home to a world-leading AI and blockchain research community with vibrant start-ups and a wide range of traditional industries. I am delighted that we can partner with the EC to invest in these six funds which target companies looking to adopt innovative processes and business models.”
This is part of a €535.4 billion European Fund for Strategic Investments (ESFI) which aims to support over 1.4 million start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises across the European Union.
Some €50 billion is allocated to InnovFin Equity, which aims to invest in research and innovation across Europe.
Making this a huge package and one of the biggest state level investment and support in blockchain technology.
It comes as the race to grab the new opportunities unleashed by frontier tech, including space exploration, automation, blockchain, CRISP gene editing, machine learning and the bot economy, is intensifying especially between China and America.
Europe has now enter the fray and does so with half a trillion bazooka, some $1 billion just for this space.
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