Crypto Weekly Bytes: Central Bank Digital Currency Tests

Last week saw France testing out a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for the Euro and Khan foundation who want to keep helping students to learn while self-isolating and they need you to help out.

France’s Digital Euro Test

The central bank of France announced it has started testing its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). For France, the test would determine if a digital Euro would be a more effective way of making payments. 
The Central Bank released 3 objectives that the test will achieve:

  • Show how conventional use cases for central bank money can be achieved through a CBDC based on different technologies
  • Identify the benefits of introducing a CBDC for the current ecosystem and understand how a CBDC might foster financial innovation
  • Conduct a detailed analysis of the potential effects of introducing a CBDC on financial stability, monetary policy and the regulatory environment.

In terms of test looks like might be the first to the race in Europe but word is that China will be the first through the door to release a CBDC for public use.

Spurs and the fear of Cash

While we are on the subject of central bank digital currencies (CBDC), researchers at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are of the opinion that COVID-19 may drive the adoption of digital payments and sharpen the debate over CBDC.

What’s the relationship between COVID19 and CBDC?

People are scared that using cash may serve as a way for COVID19 to spread and are looking for other means to pay for stuff. Although the scientific community generally believes that the transmission of coronavirus via banknote is quite slim.

Based on this concern countries may have to explore increasing the digital payment infrastructure with online, mobile and contactless options.

As the researches put it  “If cash is not generally accepted as a means of payment, this could open a ‘payments divide’ between those with access to digital payments and those without,” researchers said. Cash may, therefore, stage a comeback, the researchers admitted, but the pandemic “also calls for CBDCs.”

Braving 1 million new users

Have you heard of Brave, the privacy-oriented browser that we have mentioned once or twice? 
Last month they hit an amazing record of signing up 1 million users just in the month of month, that’s mind-boggling 🤯.

The announcement was made on Twitter through the Head of Marketing at Brave, Des Martin.
According to Brave CEO, Brenda Eich, the browser now has a total of 13.5 monthly active users and 4.3 daily active users.
The spike in user numbers could be attributed to the increased web usage from people self-isolating amidst the global coronavirus pandemic.

Buying Spree

In the last year, crypto exchange Binance has acquired at least firms. The latest to join what seems to be an acquisition spree is cryptocurrency aggregator Coinmarketcap.

Although Binance has stated they would not interfere in CMC, there’s been reservation in some quarters about the conflict of interest, as CMC was meant to be unbiased.

If you are concerned that there might be a conflict of interest here are a couple of alternatives:

Helping the learning continue

Non-profit organization, Khan Foundation which seeks to provide free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere experienced a 250% surge in users due to record numbers of students staying home during lockdowns and social distancing requirements.

To help the platform stay open during the pandemic CEO, Sal Khan in a video has asked people to donate via fiat or Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) via their Brave browsers.

If you love education and would like to help students ages 2-18 to keep learning, please donate.

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