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, we explore whether CBDC adoption is an inevitable fate for the industry and get the latest updates from the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried. 

The inevitability of CBDC adoption? 

Politics is the only obstacle to the mass adoption of CBDCs according to Brett Johnson, the Sales Lead at nChain, who was also part of a panel at the SBC Summit in Barcelona that analysed the state of blockchain. 

It was emphasised that the growth of CBDCs is only going to be fuelled by governments increasing the way they embrace the tech. Nonetheless, the shift towards CBDCs is inevitable, according to Johnson, a sentiment echoed by Enrico Giancaterina, Executive Managing Director at Funtech Games, who revealed he has witnessed an evolving of attitudes towards digital currencies.

Giancaterina emphasised that education will be integral to the growth of digital currencies and the rise of CBDCs, with more consumers knowing about them having a clear impact on their evolution. 

Defence calls on witnesses as SBF case rumbles on 

The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has continued this week, with the defence being able to call on up to six potential witnesses in order to support the case of the embattled ex-crypto CEO.  

The Department of Justice (DOJ) outlined this in its filing on Tuesday and will only call a single witness once the trial resumes today (26 October). 

It means that defence will begin its case that same day after lunch, with potential witnesses including an FTX investor and customer. The six witnesses proposed have not yet been identified nor confirmed. 

Crypto liquidity capabilities key to Ripple Uphold collaboration

Ripple has announced a new partnership with global Web3 financial platform Uphold – enabling customers with increased crypto liquidity capabilities.

The move is also a key boost for enhancing cross-border payments, underlining Ripple’s pre-existing work in finding solutions to help customers accelerate their business performance.

Pegah Soltani, Head of Payments Product at Ripple, said: “Our new partnership with Uphold enables us to enhance our underlying infrastructure and Uphold’s deep liquidity expertise further underpins Ripple’s ability to offer fast and flexible cross-border payments around the world. 

“We see this as the start of our relationship and are excited about what the future holds.”

The essential elements of Digital Euro growth 

‘Security and privacy’ have both been touted as essential as the digital euro is evolved further into the mainstream. 

It follows steps taken by the European Central Bank (ECB) with the progression of plans for a digital euro.

Announcing the plans, the ECB noted that the digital euro will provide the “highest level of privacy”, as they sought to dilute criticisms, which mainly stemmed from the most common CBDC sceptics. Dr. Alisa DiCaprio, Chief Economist at R3, told Payment Expert: “As we enter the next stage of the digital euro roadmap, developing a model that upholds individuals’ security and privacy should be a top priority for the ECB.

“One current significant challenge facing CBDCs is a lack of clear regulation, which creates uncertainty and a reluctance to engage with the technology. The European Commission published its legislative plans to underpin a digital euro back in June and we expect to see further regulatory clarity following the European elections next year.

“I hope to see the EU and ECB embrace smart and specific regulations, such as an intermediated model, which would mean that the ECB would not record retail transactions. Instead, commercial banks would offer accounts or digital wallets to facilitate the management of CBDC holdings.”