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August 17, 2022

On the web

UK Group to Test Stablecoin Payments, Provide Data to Bank of England


“The Digital FMI Consortium, a group of private-sector companies, said it plans to test cross-border payments and provide recommendations to the Bank of England using its own sterling-backed stablecoin, dSterling. “The backing of the dSterling will be pounds held in a Bank of England reserve account and it is 100% backed,” a company spokeperson told CoinDesk. The pilot, known as Project New Era, will start in October and run for 12-24 months, it said a press release . Digital FMI, which has 15-20 members, will provide white papers and recommendations to the Bank of England and other regulators. A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency designed to hold its value against another asset, often the U.S. dollar.”

April 22, 2022

On the web

Fintech Giant Stripe Jumps Into Crypto With a Feature That Lets Twitter Users Get Paid in Stablecoin


“Stripe will allow businesses to pay their users via cryptocurrencies, starting with Twitter, in the latest sign of how large financial firms are warming to digital assets. The $95 billion online payments company said Friday it will start offering merchants the ability to make payouts in crypto through the stablecoin USDC, which is issued by crypto firm Circle. Stablecoins are tokens that are pegged to fiat currencies to maintain a stable price. In USDC’s case, as the name suggests, the cryptocurrency is backed by the U.S. dollar.”

November 18, 2021

On the wires

Circle Launches ‘Circle Impact’ to Improve Financial Inclusion, Digital Financial Literacy and Humanitarian Response Via Digital Currency

“Circle Internet Financial, LLC, a global internet finance firm that provides payments and financial infrastructure to businesses of all sizes today announced the launch of Circle Impact. The initiative is dedicated to measurably improving three key areas of focus: financial inclusion, responsible financial service innovation, and supporting humanitarian efforts through the faster deployment of aid and relief using corruption-resistant real-time payments.”

November 17, 2021

On the web

Crypto Firm Circle Plans Expansion With Asia HQ, Venture Arm


“Circle, the principal operator of the second-biggest stablecoin, sees potential growth with corporate balance sheets as it broadens its geographic footprint and product offerings. The Boston-based internet finance firm is establishing a regional headquarters in Singapore and has announced it’s investing in a Japanese yen stablecoin effort through the newly-established Circle Ventures.”

November 16, 2021

On the wires

Voyager Digital Announces the Voyager Debit Mastercard®

Voyager Digital Ltd. (“Voyager” or the “Company”) (TSX: VOYG) (OTCQX: VYGVF ) (FRA: UCD2), one of the fastest-growing, publicly traded cryptocurrency platforms in the United States, today announced the launch of the Voyager Debit Mastercard, the first crypto-based debit card that pays up to 9% annual rewards to Voyager customers, as well as additional rewards for Voyager Loyalty Program members.”

November 3, 2021

On the web

Stablecoins are a compelling payment option, but they need to be regulated, Biden administration report says


“Stablecoins, a popular type of digital asset pegged to traditional currencies, could transform the way Americans pay for everything from cell phones and gasoline to haircuts and cups of coffee, according to a long-awaited report released by the Biden administration. When regulated, stablecoins could “support faster, more efficient, and more inclusive payments options,” said the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, which includes several top economic advisors to President Joe Biden.”

November 1, 2021

On the web

U.S. Treasury to Issue ‘Stablecoin’ Report, Paving Way for New Rules


“A U.S. Treasury Department-led panel is set on Monday to release a hotly-awaited report on stablecoins, a fast-growing type of digital coin pegged to traditional currencies, according to an administration official with knowledge of the matter. The report by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets will explore the risks and opportunities offered by stablecoins, a roughly $131 billion market, paving the way for future regulatory and potential congressional action.”

October 29, 2021

On the wires

October 20, 2021

On the web

Don’t Subject Stablecoins to New Rules, Crypto Lobby Tells U.S. Regulators


“Asset-backed stablecoins do not pose a systemic risk to the U.S. financial system and should not face a new set of rules, a major cryptocurrency lobby group told U.S. regulators on Monday, as tighter oversight of the fast-growing technology looms. Stablecoins – digital tokens usually backed by reserves of dollars or assets from gold to other cryptocurrencies – have ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

October 18, 2021

On the web

Tether Will Pay $41 Million Over “Misleading” Claims It Was Fully Backed by US Dollars

The Verge

“Tether will pay $41 million to settle allegations by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that it made untrue or misleading statements when it claimed its stablecoins were fully backed by fiat currencies. The CFTC said in a statement Friday that between June 2016 and February 2019, Tether misrepresented to customers and the cryptocurrencies markets that it had “sufficient US dollar reserves” to back every token when, in fact, its reserves were not fully backed the majority of the time.”

October 8, 2021

On the web

Stablecoins Added to Agenda of U.S. Financial Stability Watchdog


“Stablecoins have become official business of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the U.S. uber regulator responsible for heading off dangers to the financial system. The FSOC is considering the cryptocurrencies at its next meeting, according to an agenda released Friday.  The group of financial regulators is set to hear “an update on the report on stablecoins being developed by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets” in a private session at their Oct. 18 meeting. That report is expected to favor oversight of stablecoins as a kind of banking deposit, people familiar with the effort have said, and the working group’s members have also discussed whether the FSOC should look into the tokens as a financial stability risk.”

Anyone Seen Tether’s Billions?


“In July, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen summoned the chair of the Federal Reserve, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and six other top officials for a meeting to discuss Tether. The absurdity of the situation couldn’t have been lost on them: Inflation was spiking, a Covid surge threatened the economic recovery, and Yellen wanted to talk about a digital currency dreamed up by the former child actor who’d missed a penalty shot in The Mighty Ducks. But Tether had gotten so large that it threatened to put the U.S. financial system at risk. It was as if a playground snowball fight had escalated so wildly that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were being called in to avert a nuclear war.”

October 7, 2021

On the web

Stablecoins to Face Same Safeguards As Traditional Payments


“The IOSCO group of securities regulators and the Bank for International Settlements, a global forum for central banks, set out on Wednesday how current rules for major clearing, settlement and payments services should also be applied to ‘systemic’ or heavily used stablecoins. The proposals, put out to public consultation before being finalised early next year, put into practice what regulators have long called for: the same rules for the same type of business and accompanying risks. The rules mean a stablecoin operator must set up a legal entity which spells out how it is governed and manages operational risks like cyber attacks.”

October 5, 2021

On the web

USDC Stablecoin Backer Circle Subpoenaed by U.S. SEC

American Banker

“Circle Internet Financial, the backer of the USDC stablecoin, received a subpoena in July from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a filing Monday. The disclosure was made as part of a filing about Circle’s planned merger with the special purpose acquisition company, Concord Acquisition Corp., a deal announced in July valued at $4.5 billion. Circle Chief Executive Jeremy Allaire has previously called for more clarity around digital-asset regulation.”

October 4, 2021

On the web

Circle Taps Plaid for ACH Payments As USDC Market Cap Hits $30B


“Stablecoin issuer Circle said that it is partnering with financial data aggregator Plaid to make it easier for consumers to move their money out of the bank and into Circle’s USDC. Like its partnership with Visa, working with Plaid is another way for Circle to become more deeply integrated with networks that allow users to move faster between fiat and dollar-backed crypto tokens via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. USDC is among the leading stablecoins flowing across the crypto ecosystem.”

September 30, 2021

On the wires

Making Digital Currency Interoperable


“Imagine splitting the check with your friends, when everyone at the table is using a different type of money — some using a central bank digital currency (or CBDC) like Sweden’s eKrona, and others preferring a private stablecoin like USDC. How about sending $500 in USDC to a friend in London, and having those funds automatically converted to digital British pounds before they arrive in her CBDC wallet. Now imagine all this happening in real-time, across multiple networks, and compatible with multiple digital wallets.    In the not-too-distant future, this very well may be a reality. But getting there will take solving one key problem: cross-chain interoperability. In other words, how do you get different digital currencies, relying on different tech stacks and protocols, with different compliance standards and market requirements, to “talk” to each other in a wider network of value?”

September 17, 2021

On the web

Treasury to Flag Stablecoin Perils as U.S. Readies Clampdown


“Treasury officials have identified what they believe are the most urgent risks posed by Tether and other stablecoins as they ready recommendations for stricter oversight of cryptocurrencies.  Ensuring investors can reliably move money in and out of tokens is a top concern for officials crafting a policy framework set to be released in the coming weeks, according to people with knowledge of the matter who declined to be named because the work isn’t complete. They’re also worried that widespread, fire-sale runs on crypto assets could threaten financial stability and that certain stablecoins could scale up dangerously fast, the people said.”

September 13, 2021

On the web

EXCLUSIVE U.S. Treasury, Financial Industry Discuss Cryptocurrency ‘Stablecoins’


“The U.S. Treasury Department met with a number of industry participants this week to quiz them about the risks and benefits posed by stablecoins — a rapidly growing type of cryptocurrencies, the value of which is pegged to traditional currencies, according to three people with direct knowledge of the meetings. Washington policymakers are alarmed at the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency market which exceeded a record $2 trillion in April. As of Friday, the market cap of stablecoins stood at roughly $125 billion, according to industry data site CoinMarketCap. It is unclear which financial regulations apply to these relatively new products.”

September 9, 2021

On the web

Afterpay Believes a Popular AUD Stablecoin Will Appear Soon | ZDNet


“Australian buy now, pay later giant Afterpay has told a Senate fintech committee that it believes a stablecoin based on the Australian dollar will appear soon. “There is currently no AUD-backed stablecoin with significant uptake. However, this is unlikely to remain true for long. An AUD-backed stablecoin would provide Australian cryptocurrency users and investors with an alternate store of value compared to the popular USD-denominated coins, with the associated benefits of blockchain technology,” Afterpay told the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre in a submission.”

August 27, 2021

On the wires

AID:Tech Leverages Circle’s Payment Solutions and USD Coin to Power Fraud Resistant Disaster Relief Delivery

AID:Tech , a financial services company that brings transparency and accountability to federal relief distribution, will soon be leveraging the power of payment solutions from Circle, a global financial technology firm that provides internet-native payments and treasury infrastructure. Utilizing USD Coin (USDC), a blockchain-powered digital currency, and leveraging Circle’s payment rails, AID:Tech’s platform provides people in need with a fast and efficient channel to access the funds they need while also securing their digital identity.”

August 23, 2021

On the wires

USD Coin Reserves Evolving to 100 Percent Cash and Short Duration U.S. Treasuries

“Circle, a global financial technology firm that provides internet-native payments and treasury infrastructure, announced the transition of USDC reserves to 100 percent cash and short duration U.S. Treasuries to be reflected in the dollar digital currency’s September attestation. Since inception, USDC reserves have been bound by the permissible investment rules under state money transmission regulations, which is how Circle is regulated today. These rules, together with the more conservative reserve management standards of the Centre Consortium, a partnership between Circle and Coinbase that provides standards for stablecoins, protect consumers and ensure 1:1 dollar liquidity for USDC at all times.”

August 12, 2021

On the web

Coinbase Vowed Token’s All-Cash Backing; That’s Not True


“For months, a visitor to the website of Coinbase Global Inc. , the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, would see that the company offered a stablecoin called USD Coin with a simple premise: For every dollar offered to investors, there was $1 “in a bank account” to back it. That promise was important for the stablecoin, which unlike Bitcoin has a set price and can be redeemed by users for regular currency. It helped USD Coin grow to be the world’s second-largest stablecoin, with $28 billion in assets.  But when Circle Internet Financial Inc. , Coinbase’s partner in offering the coin, disclosed USD Coin’s assets for the first time last month, it turns out the promise wasn’t true.”

On the wires

Diem Networks US Partners With K2 Integrity for Industry-Leading Financial Crime Compliance Framework

K2 Integrity today announced its engagement with Diem Networks US to support, initially lead, and continue to build innovative solutions for the Diem Networks US Financial Intelligence Function (FIF). The FIF is designed to protect the Diem Payment Network (DPN) from illicit financial activity and works in close collaboration with DPN participants who also are required to maintain strong financial crime compliance controls.      Diem Networks US has built a blockchain-based payment system designed to make payments cheaper and faster, while protecting consumers and the integrity of the financial system.”

July 28, 2021

On the web

DOJ Reportedly Investigates Crypto Company Tether for Possible Bank Fraud


“The Justice Department is investigating possible bank fraud by executives of Tether Ltd. stemming from actions during the early days of its stablecoin cryptocurrency, according to Bloomberg News. The probe has implications for the cryptomarket. Tether’s stablecoin is the third largest digital asset by market cap, at $62.3 billion, according to CoinGecko, and traders often use it instead of dollars or other fiat money to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Tether gives users a way to move funds between exchanges quickly and offers some level of protection from other cryptocurrencies’ price volatility.”

July 22, 2021

On the wires

Greater Transparency for USDC Reserves

“Since nearly three years ago when the first USD Coin (USDC) entered circulation, Circle, together with Centre Consortium, have prioritized trust, transparency, and accountability. These priorities have helped USDC grow widely within the global blockchain ecosystem… With this latest reserve attestation, we are now including a breakdown of dollar-denominated  reserve assets, which are all held in the care, custody and control of U.S. regulated financial institutions and in line with laws and guidelines from our U.S. state money transmission regulators.  Indeed, as pioneers in the digital currency industry, Circle, together with Centre Consortium, have evolved a reserve management model that is more conservative and transparent than comparatively regulated digital payments systems and financial technology (FinTech) organizations.”

July 21, 2021

On the web

PayU Purchases CELO Tokens to Kickstart Stablecoin Payment Program

The Block

“PayU, the payments business of the investment group Prosus, has formed a partnership with decentralized payments protocol Celo. The pair plan to launch new stablecoin payment options for PayU’s 450,000 merchant customers using cUSD, Celo’s dollar-pegged stablecoin. Together, PayU’s clients serve millions of people across Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.”

Yellen Urges Quick U.S. Adoption of Stablecoin Rules


“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told regulators Monday that the U.S. government must move quickly to establish a regulatory framework for stablecoins, a rapidly growing class of digital currencies. A group of U.S. regulators plans to issue recommendations in the coming months for fixing any regulatory gaps around stablecoins, the Treasury Department said in a statement.”

June 29, 2021

On the web

Coinbase Debuts Savings Product With 4% APY on USDC Deposits – CoinDesk


“Coinbase is rolling out a crypto savings account that lets you earn 4% annual percentage yield (APY) by lending out your USDC (+0.01%) . The account isn’t FDIC- or SIPC-insured and functions much like other products at crypto lenders and other exchanges that regularly offer yields around 8%. The reason why Coinbase is offering a comparatively lower yield is because it doesn’t lend to “unidentified third parties,” said Thorsten Jaeckel , senior product manager at Coinbase.  Coinbase, which administers the USDC stablecoin in partnership with Circle through the CENTRE Consortium, appears to be aiming squarely for banks with its new product, touting rates “more than 50x the national average of a traditional savings account.””

June 22, 2021

On the web

Basel’s Crypto Capital Plan Could Boost Banks’ Interest in Stablecoins

American Banker

“Although banks are only starting to grapple with the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, a framework from global banking regulators outlining possible capital charges for them is a likely preview of how financial institutions could soon come to view digital money. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued a proposal this month laying out how regulators should make banks treat Bitcoin and other digital assets. Under that proposal, bank exposures to cryptocurrencies that are not linked to any underlying asset would be subject to a 1,250% risk weight, meaning that a bank would likely need to hold a dollar in capital for every dollar’s worth of a digital asset.”

June 15, 2021

On the web

Former PayPal Employees Launch Decentralized Cross-border Payment Network on Algorand


“Two former PayPal workers in business and technology have launched a cross-border payment system aimed at “faster, cheaper, and more transparent payments.” In an announcement on Tuesday, fintech infrastructure firm Six Clovers said it launched its Rapid network, which connects banks, merchants and payment providers, allowing clients to transact in digital currencies and fiat. Founded by former PayPal employees Jim Nguyen and Nas Kavian and backed by venture capital firm Borderless Capital, the network is built on the Algorand blockchain and employs the technology behind stablecoins to represent fiat.”

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