The European Central Bank, or ECB, has announced it will be collaborating with five companies for the development of potential digital euro user interfaces.
In a Friday announcement, the ECB said it had chosen "Big Four" tech company Amazon, fintech firm Nexi, Spanish digital bank CaixaBank, French payments platform Worldline and the European Payments Initiative, or EPI, to each focus on developing a prototype based on specific use cases of the digital euro. According to the central bank, the firms will create front-end prototypes, which will not be used in later phases of the digital currency project.
Together with the ECB team, the selected companies will focus on one specific use case of a digital euro:
>peer-to-peer online payments - Caixabank;
>peer-to-peer offline payments - Worldline;
>point of sale payments initiated by the payer - Epi;
>point of sale payments initiated by the payee - Nexi;
>e-commerce payments - Amazon.
The ECB chose the five companies based on their fulfilling “specific capabilities” when compared to 50 other front-end developers that responded to the central bank’s call in April. Officials planned the project to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 as part of a two-year investigation phase into the digital euro, expected to end in October 2023.
As interest in central bank digital currencies seems to be growing globally, ECB officials have been exploring the potential impact of a digital euro on Europe while being vague about if or when the bank could release a CBDC. The central bank commissioned a series of focus groups on digital payment methods in September 2021, which suggested that using digital currency at online and physical stores could be a key feature of a digital euro. An earlier public consultation also suggested that privacy was considered “the most important feature of a digital euro by both citizens and professionals.”
Do Kwon, the co-founder of the Terra ecosystem, took to Twitter on Saturday asserting he’s “not ‘on the run’ or anything similar” after the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said Kwon wasn’t in the city-state.
On Sept. 14, South Korean authorities issued an arrest warrant for Kwon and five other associates for alleged violations of the country’s capital markets laws. All were known to be in Singapore at the time, with prosecutors also attempting to revoke their passports a day later on Thursday.
“For any government agency that has shown interest to communicate, we are in full cooperation and we don’t have anything to hide,” Kwon tweeted.
Kwon did not reveal where he was, saying Crypto Twitter has “no business knowing my GPS coordinates.” He added they are defending themselves in “multiple jurisdictions” and look forward to “clarifying the truth over the next few months.”
Singapore does not have an extradition treaty with South Korea, but the SPF stated it will assist Korean authorities within the scope of its domestic laws and international obligations and didn’t provide any further details.
In May, the Terra ecosystem Kwon co-founded arguably had the biggest crash in cryptocurrency history after its algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD Classic (USTC), originally TerraUSD (UST), lost its United States dollar peg to hit a low of $0.006 in June.
Its sister asset, now known as Luna Classic (LUNC) met a similar fate with an all-time low of $0.0000009 in May after hitting its all-time high of over $119 the month prior. The twin collapses caused panic among traders, with selling pressure leading to a wider collapse in the digital asset market.
Previously, South Korean prosecutors banned Terra employees from leaving the country in June to stop the possibility of them fleeing to avoid investigation, Do Kwon was already residing in Singapore at the time.
In July, South Korean authorities raided 15 firms, including seven crypto exchanges connected to the collapse of Terra reportedly gaining access to data related to USTC and LUNC transactions.
In a statement on Sept. 18, Senator Bragg stated that “Australia must keep pace with the global race for regulation on digital assets” as “it is essential that the parliament drives law reform” on the matter.
The new draft bill, titled Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2022, calls for the introduction of licenses for digital asset exchanges, digital asset custody services, stablecoin issuers, as well as disclosure requirements for facilitators of the e-Yuan in Australia.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Senator Bragg said Australia has “quite a risk exposure, as an economy, and that’s one of the reasons why we need to have a serious program for managing disruption, managing risks, that emanate from the development of a CBDC.”
Senator Bragg said the objective of this particular act is to provide “an effective regulatory framework” as well as to provide "for the reporting of information by certain banks that facilitate the use or availability of digital Yuan in Australia” and to provide “additional duties” for governing bodies in relation to this act and the “regulation of activities relating to digital assets and digital Yuan.”
Senator Bragg said that this isn’t “an accusatory position to take” it’s simply just being “prepared and gathering information” which he thinks is entirely “reasonable.”
The Liberal senator also added that Australia wouldn’t benefit from having a CBDC as “privacy issues cannot be managed,” however it is important that the Australian government “put something on the table” to manage other CBDCs being introduced, as the Governor of The Reserve Bank of Australia has “spoken before saying there needs to be regulation on stablecoins.”
The draft bill consultation is open until Oct. 31, 2022 and welcomes “community feedback.”
Andrew Bragg, a pro-crypto Australian politician, has been an outspoken advocate for cryptocurrency since he was elected senator in 2019. Senator Bragg has been pushing for a clear regulatory framework for digital assets and crypto companies since 2021, in an effort to prevent local startups from moving overseas.
Senator Bragg noted that he “chaired the committee” for digital assets with “no fixed view at the time” and “conducted an inquiry into these matters” as well as informing himself “about the risks and opportunities.”
Meanwhile, the Australian Labor government is said to be working on “crypto asset reforms” to “improve the way Australia’s regulatory system manages crypto assets."
Last month, the treasury stated it will “prioritize token mapping work in 2022, which will help identify how crypto assets and related services should be regulated.”
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.