What's New in Payments

Starbucks and McDonald’s to pilot central bank digital currency in China

Starbucks, McDonald’s among 19 firms to test China’s digital yuan — Coindesk — “Starbucks and McDonald’s are reportedly among 19 restaurants and retail shops that will be involved in testing China’s central bank digital currency in the country’s Xiong’An new district, a local news outlet reported on Thursday, citing a government document. The move signals China’s wider efforts to test the digital currency project, with state-owned commercial banks already developing wallet applications for the digital yuan, also known as DC/EP.”


What's New in Payments

Facebook scales back its digital currency plans

Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency project is scaled back — The New York Times — “The Libra project will now focus on creating a more traditional payment network in which coins will be tied to a local currency, somewhat like the digital dollars in a PayPal account. While Libra will also have a coin backed by multiple national currencies, which was the focus of the initial design documents, that will be less prominent.”



What's New in Payments

Federal Reserve sets out its digital currency position

The digitalization of payments and currency: Some issues for consideration — The Federal Reserve — “Given the dollar’s important role, it is essential that we remain on the frontier of research and policy development regarding CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency]. Like other central banks, we are conducting research and experimentation related to distributed ledger technologies and their potential use case for digital currencies, including the potential for a CBDC. We are collaborating with other central banks as we advance our understanding of central bank digital currencies.”





What's New in Payments

Chinese banks and carriers to pilot central bank digital currency

China’s central bank likely to pilot digital currency in cities of Shenzhen and Suzhou — Coindesk — “The People’s Bank of China is said to be preparing to launch pilots for its digital currency in at least two major cities. The tests are likely to include the participation of state-owned partners. These comprise the ‘Big Four’ commercial banks — the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China — and three telcos: China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.”


What's New in Payments

MUFG to use digital currency for mobile payments in Japan

MUFG digital currency finds second life as mobile payment — Nikkei Asian Review — “Users will convert funds from their bank accounts or elsewhere into the digital currency using a smartphone app. The service will use this currency in transactions, which will be handled through QR codes. Money sent via the app can be moved back into an account as cash, allowing for transfers between individuals.”


What's New in Payments

Payments networks to drop support for Facebook’s Libra digital currency?

Visa, Mastercard, others reconsider involvement in Facebook’s Libra network — The Wall Street Journal — “Visa Inc, Mastercard Inc and other financial partners that signed on to help build and maintain the Libra payments network are reconsidering their involvement following a backlash from US and European government officials, according to people familiar with the matter.”






What's New in Payments

Facebook unveils its blockchain digital wallet plan

Coming in 2020: Calibra — Facebook — “Today we’re sharing plans for Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network. The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app — and we expect to launch in 2020.”


What's New in Payments

Facebook to roll out GlobalCoin digital currency in ‘a dozen countries’ next year

Facebook plans to launch ‘GlobalCoin’ currency in 2020 — BBC — “Facebook wants to create a digital currency that provides affordable and secure ways of making payments, regardless of whether users have a bank account. The social networking site, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is hoping to disrupt existing networks by breaking down financial barriers, competing with banks and reducing consumer costs.”


What's New in Payments

Nike registers ‘cryptokicks’ trademark

Nike’s ‘cryptokicks’ trademark application hints at its new blockchain ambitions — The Next Web — “The application, filed on April 19, outlines how the company‘s proposed digital currency could be used by an online community. The document also describes an online footwear and clothing marketplace, as well as ‘a website featuring technology that enables users to mine, earn, purchase, receive by any other means, store, and transfer blockchain-based tokens, coins, cryptocurrencies, and other crypto assets’.”



What's New in Payments

Saudi Arabia and UAE to develop joint digital currency

UAE and Saudi Arabia announce launch of common digital currency ‘Aber’ — Emirates 24/7 — “The United Arab Emirates Central Bank (UAECB) and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) today announced in a joint statement the launch of the common digital currency project ‘Aber’, which will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through blockchains and distributed ledgers technologies.”


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