Here is our pick of the 3 most important Stablecoin news stories during the week.
Who controls your stablecoin and what is their interest in you?
This week in stablecoins we look at what is the interest in you by the party issuing your stablecoin or CBDC.
But first, the week got off to a big start with the announcement from Tether that it would be working with UK regulators to create a GBPT.
Tether, the controversial “stablecoin” that underpins more than $60bn of the crypto economy, is launching a British version to capitalise on the UK government’s desire to make Britain a global cryptocurrency hub.
Like its US dollar counterpart, of which $67bn (£55bn) is actively traded on cryptocurrency markets, the digital asset will be built on the Ethereum blockchain, but its value will be set at £1.
Meanwhile, Bermuda which is regulated on very similar lines to the UK is stepping up its game in Crypto. The collapse of Terra’s terraUSD (UST) made some investors think twice about buying stablecoins. The algorithmic stablecoin, pegged to the U.S. dollar, turned out to be less than stable, and investors in stablecoins as a whole were spooked about being left with nothing.
It’s the exact opposite way of thinking for Bermuda’s premier, David Burt. He said in an interview the Terra debacle highlights the importance of good regulation, vindicating his goal of making his country the world’s home for safe, innovative assets.
Crypto’s structural flaws make it an unsuitable basis for a monetary system, according to the Bank for International settlements (BIS). Instead, monetary systems could be built around central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which are digital representations of central bank money.
The BIS, an association of the world’s major central banks, dedicates a 42-page chapter in its “2022 Annual Economic Report” to laying out a blueprint for the future of the global monetary system. In that vision, there is room for only some of crypto’s underlying technical features, like programmability and tokenization, not for cryptocurrencies themselves.
“Our broad conclusion is captured in the motto, ‘Anything that crypto can do, CBDCs can do better,’” said Hyun Song Shin, an economic adviser and head of research at the BIS.
I guess it is not surprising that the BIS sees itself at the centre of a new money system but interestingly, they don’t think CBDC’s will be much help with payments but rather in the implementation of monetary policy (getting money direct to consumers and controlling how, when and why they spend it).
But before we let BIS run the world of CBDC’s a cautionary tale from China which was the first major country to implement one.
We may grumble about surveillance capitalism when Facebook/Meta and Google read your content and then throw up relevant advertising but that is nothing compared to state surveillance which blocks any activity it perceives as against its political interest.
Alan Scott is an expert in the FX market and has been working in the domain of stablecoins for many years. Twitter @Alan_SmartMoney
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Author: Alan Scott