Payment Expert’s Blockchain Bulletin analyses how the world of blockchain is constantly evolving and having a major impact on the payment industry, with cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse revolutionising the space. 

This week is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) special featuring an in-depth two-part discussion with R3’s Ricardo Correia. We also gained the insight of MultiPay Global Solutions COO, Delia Pedersoli, who analysed the potential of Britcoin.

Payment Expert’s ‘The Rise of CBDCs’ (part one): How did we get here? 

In this first of a two-parter, Payment Expert and R3’s Head of Digital Currencies & CBDC – Ricardo Correia – explored the origins of CBDCs, the definitions and primary functions of the digital currency, and the catalyst that made world governments stand up and take notice in their surge in growth

Payment Expert’s ‘The Rise of CBDCs’ (part two): The future of currency? 

In the second part, Correia and Payment Expert outlined some of the key regulatory decision-making and costs required for a CBDC to launch, the potential risks attached, whether or not they offered financial stability as we ponder whether CBDCs will become the currency of the future. 

Why the arrival of a digital pound will have ‘far and wide-reaching implications’

MultiPay Global Solutions COO, Delia Pedersoli, recently wrote for Payment Expert on the implications a potential digital pound – also known as Britcoin – may have on wider society. 

Pedersoli believes a UK CBDC could possess “several exciting opportunities” such as improved rates for international payments and more efficient money transfers, and could hold “transformative” abilities to overhaul the retail customer experience. 

Pedersoli highlights that, “Operating on payment rails with less complexity allows digital currencies to provide instant refunds for things like missed deliveries.”

First US stablecoin draft bill explores integration of CBDCs in the country

CBDCs were widely discussed in the US’ first major digital asset bill of 2023, where it looked at how to integrate any potential digital currencies and stablecoins into its financial systems.

The US central bank would have to approve existing stablecoin issuers, such as Circle’s USDC stablecoin, with banks having to gain clearance from their respective regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for instance, in order to issue their own stablecoin if they wish to choose so. 

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Bank of England ramps up digital pound efforts assembling new team

The Bank of England is continuing its efforts into a potential digital pound CBDC by forming a new 30 person team to preside over the project. 

Some of the government’s potential measures for a CBDC in the UK outlined in the consultation highlight the need for a dedicated digital wallet to house the digital pound, with no interest fees attached to them. 

Bank of Israel eyes potential digital shekel issuance

The Bank of Israel Steering Committee has outlined future plans for the potential issuance of a Digital Shekel as it revealed the preparation of an action plan for issuance. 

This comes in spite of the fact that a decision has not yet been made as to whether the Bank intends on doing so. According to data, cash is still being utilised in Israel in a significant portion of the consumer transactions. However, it is probable that the use of cash as a means of payment will decline in the future, with the expanding adoption of payment applications and of electronic means of payment in general. 

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