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CIS Gazette 19/Oct/2020

A summary of the weeks news & events in the Crypto/Blockchain world

Libra, Cointral, Bank of Spain, Digital Yuan and more..

G7 versus Libra! 

Facebook's digital currency project Libra met the first counter- attack from G7 leaders. Due to the lack of regulations, financial authorities of G7 countries declared inconvenience on the project! The central bankers from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Britain explained their concerns with a joint meeting and underlined relevant legal, regulatory, and oversight requirements through appropriate design and by adhering to applicable standards. The Group of G7 will discuss again the pros and cons of digital payments and financial services in the following weeks. The regulatory bodies of the countries indicated that any electronic currency system would have to be “appropriately supervised and regulated so that they would not undermine financial stability, consumer protection, privacy, taxation, or cybersecurity.” During the Libra discussion, the G7 also considered what to do about the rise in ransomware attacks due to COVID-19 and the online shift in economic activity.(1) 

Paxful and Cointral enters a joint venture for providing more crypto access 

Couintral, the cryptocurrency trading platform, and cash payment points in Turkey, entered into a joint project with its cryptocurrency marketplace peer, Paxful, for integrating the web-based Paxful Kiosk into the Cointral platform. The joint project will provide access to its users to diverse payment methods. 

The Cointral customers choose a variety of payments for crypto purchases with bank transfers or gift cards. Because of the recent devaluation of the local currency, the government decided to focus on blockchain adoption as part of its economic roadmap, including a proposal to design a Turkish Central Bank's digital currency based on blockchain technology. Recently reports showed that nearly 20% of Turkish people have used or owned crypto assets and there is a  growing need for digital currencies throughout the whole economy. 

The other part of the project, Paxful, is a platform that allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with more than 300 payment options. In addition to the crypto-currency trading, Cointral offers a wide array of services with features such as OTC for high-volume operations, P2P, a first in Turkey, quick-swap, and cash purchases.(2) 


China gives away $1.5 Million for testing the digital currency 

In the southern part of China, Shenzen's Central Bank will provide 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) of coupons to residents as part of ongoing pilot programs to test China’s digital yuan. According to the financial support plan, the local government of Shenzhen’s Luohu district will give 50,000 people digital coupons worth 200 yuan each, which they can spend in nearly 3,400 designated shops that are capable of accepting digital yuan payments, ranging from supermarkets and convenience stores to gas stations. 

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) regards the digital yuan as an important part of the economy’s future financial infrastructure and finds crypto assets as a necessary component of this new infrastructure and safeguard of monetary sovereignty. (3) 

Bank of Spain makes a cryptocurrency projection for 2021 

Spain’s central bank completed its research on its own digital currency‘s design and the economic implications of central bank digital currency (CBDC). The regulatory body analysed the digital identification, design proposal, and currency’s financial and systemic risks for the Spanish economy within a four-year strategic plan. As a member of the Eurozone, the Bank of Spain cannot unilaterally introduce its own sovereign CBDC. However, the European Central Bank (ECB) is currently mulling a digital euro through committee work that already included Spanish central bankers. Besides, ECB's clear answers about their request, the Spanish authority is still looking for a joint solution for having their own digital currency and being an active member of ECB's digital euro.(4) 

Web traffic to cryptocurrency exchanges fell by over 14% in September 

Despite the monthly increase in the transaction volume of the crypto markets, the cryptocurrency exchange web traffic dropped by 14.6% from August to September 2020. The web traffic peaked at 144.3 million visits in August while in September saw only 123.2 million visits. Albeit the drop in visitors, September is still the second-highest web traffic month for exchanges in 2020. As the main cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance held the majority of the transaction traffic with a 28.9% share and 35.6 million web visits. Coinbase followed Binance with a 19.2% share and 23.7 million visits. The third place is occupied by BitMEX with a 4.4% market share and 5.4 million visits.(5)  

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