CBDC - central bank digital currency coming

China wants unified QR code systems for its CBDC (digital yuan)

"...China’s central bank is pushing for interconnectivity between its digital yuan ... through universal QR code payments...Fan [a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC)] said it is important to promote the unification of digital identity, QR code mechanisms,...The PBoC started pilot trials of the e-CNY [China's CBDC] in Shenzhen in October 2020 and it has since expanded the trials to at least 23 cities and regions."
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NY Fed and banking community to begin 12 week Proof of Concept Project (PoC) for Programmable CBDC:

"The 12-week PoC will test a version of the RLN design that operates exclusively in U.S. dollars where commercial banks issue simulated digital money or “tokens” – representing the deposits of their own customers – and settle through simulated central bank reserves on a shared multi-entity distributed ledger. The PoC will also test the feasibility of a programmable digital money design that is potentially extensible to other digital assets, as well as the viability of the proposed system within existing laws and regulations. ...In addition to the NYIC [part of NY Fed], the other participants on this project include the following financial institutions and payments organizations: BNY Mellon, Citi, HSBC, Mastercard, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Truist, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo."

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EU says it can have a digital ID wallet by ’24 regardless of challenges​

"The European Union is preparing for the 2024 release of its digital ID wallet, which would enable EU residents to store digital identity credentials such as national ID, driving license and bank account details. In order to stick to this schedule, the EU plans to publish standards and specifications before 2023, says Romana Jerkovic, a member of the European Parliament and member of the EU’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy ...'The legislative process could be completed by next spring, setting the stage for the wallet to go live in 2024,” Jerkovic explains. “Under the plan, EU member states will have 12 months to issue their wallets once the regulation is adopted.'"

"Iran set to freeze bank accounts of women who refuse to wear a hijab​

The threat from Iranian officials to freeze bank accounts to enforce compliance again highlights the risks of CBDCs and the transition to cashless economies."

Note: Iran has been conducting a trial run on their CBDC (Ramzrial - digital rial) since September 2022. "...the CBI [Central Bank of Iran] was quoted saying the goal of the "crypto-rial" is to turn banknotes into programmable entities." https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2022/09/21/iran-to-start-testing-a-digital-rial-this-week/
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"Nigeria bans ATM cash withdrawals over $225 a week to force use of CBDC​

Nigeria has drastically reduced the amount of cash individuals and businesses can withdraw as it attempts to push its “cash-less Nigeria” policy and increase the use of the eNaira — Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Central Bank of Nigeria issued the directive to financial businesses in a Dec. 6 circular, noting that individuals and businesses would now be limited to withdrawing $45 (20,000 Nigerian nairas) per day and $225 (100,000 nairas) per week from ATMs.

Individuals and businesses will also be limited to withdrawing $225 (100,000 nairas) and $1,125 (500,000 nairas), respectively, at banks per week, with individuals hit with a 5% fee and businesses with a 10% fee for amounts above those limits."

"Kazakhstan central bank recommends a phased CBDC rollout between 2023-25​

Taking into account the need for technological improvements, infrastructure preparation, development of an operating model and a regulatory framework, it is recommended to ensure a phased implementation over three years.”
FedNow app to launch in July 2023:
Preparation are underway for the formal launch of FedNow in July. Early adopters will test the system with customers in April and final production validation activities will be conducted for pre-launch prep in June. https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/other20230315a.htm

So what will FedNow replace?
1) What about Automatic Clearing House (ACH) Network (i.e. bank to bank direct transfer/payment): "Rather than replace ACH or Same Day ACH, FedNow is expected to provide greater redundancy for payment operations, thereby preventing any potential payment network bottlenecks." https://www.aciworldwide.com/fednow

2) What about credit cards? "FedNow will enable all transaction types beyond P2P, such as paying a merchant at the point-of -sale, businesses paying businesses, and beyond. FedNow could also replace nearly all current payment solutions, including card payments and direct ACH payments." https://www.paymentsjournal.com/payments-space-set-to-undergo-tranformation-with-fednow/

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An article on programmability of CBDC (https://sites.duke.edu/thefinregblog/2021/09/21/cbdc-how-dangerous-is-programmability/) describe various scenarios that can come about due to its prgrammable nature. Most of these examples are related to glitches in the program that can lead to loss of data, etc. More interesting are the comments to the article including these:

"steve hatton October 12, 2022
No mention here of the programmability which worries people most. In China the Digital ID can be used to adapt peoples freedoms according to their online and government data. Could the CBDC banking system not limit people’s purchases and travels instantly at point of purchase? Used too much fuel? – limit carbon transactions. Purchases outside your lock down zone? – Payment Rejected. etc etc?"

and another one:

"Dustin December 11, 2022
As another commenter noted, you completely omitted the biggest risk of programmability, which is complete government control over how money is allowed to be spent. Basically, instead of cash in their wallet, everyone would have a gloried EBT card (food stamps). Your spending would be completely restricted to whatever the current ruling regime decides is acceptable. Want to treat yourself to a steak once in awhile? Too bad, it’s not environmentally friendly. Need to take a flight to see a sick loved one? Too bad, you’ve exceeded your carbon limit for the month. Feeling unsafe in your neighborhood and decide to buy a firearm for protection? That can be denied too, because the Federal Reserve is a private institution and is not restrained by the 2nd amendment. The Fed also isn’t restrained by the 1st amendment, so they could completely halt all subscription payments to any media service that they decide has unacceptable views. Programmability is an absolutely absurd notion that must be completely banned by legislation."
England is looking at providing consumer checking accounts through CBDC/digital wallets with a cap of at most 20,000 pounds. Any excess is placed in a "savings account" in regular commercial banks. This may be the system the US may use to administer the CBDC, i.e. FedNow digital wallets act as a "checking account" with the money held in the central bank with a possible balance cap and any excess money held in a separate "savings account" in commercial banks. Some countries are looking at expiration dates for money held in digital wallets and/or negative interest rates on the amount to encourage consumers to spend their money. This type of policy can help with controlling inflation/recession. They can encourage consumers to spend as fast as they can during a recession by implementing expiration dates and negative interest rates. They can also discourage consumers from spending their money by limiting purchases during an inflation. The limit on purchases can be in the form of a lower max balance allowed in digital wallets and a wait time in between to replenish the balance. The programmability of the CBDC affords the issuer a multitude of possibilities.

Britons face 20,000 digital pound cap under Bank of England plan​

"We propose a limit of between 10,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds per individual as the appropriate balance between managing risks and supporting wide usability of the digital pound," Cunliffe [Bank of England Deputy Governor] said in a speech. ... Money above the cap would be 'swept' into a customer's commercial bank account given that a digital pound would not be a means for storing wealth [i.e. does not act as a savings account], he told members of UK Finance, a banking industry body."
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UK Independence Party leader and Great Britain News presenter, Nigel Farage, has his bank account cancelled:

Farage was instrumental in UK's move to Brexit and is a very outspoken critic of certain governmental policies.
I know it’s the better narrative to believe he was targeted for his political views but maybe it’s his own fault? There is a wealth limit in that bank and he fell below it…

Coutts bank (UK) dossier on Farage makes clear that the bank was in the process of exiting Farage due to his political associations/beliefs which they state did not align with the bank's. The dossier also indicates that Farage satisfied his financial contribution limit (ie this was not the reason he was exited.) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...undermine-claim-exiting-farage-not-political/

Additionally, Farage has claimed that multiple other banks refused to accept him as a client.
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Chase Bank close personal and business accounts of retail health company (Dr. Mercola). Founder, Dr. Mercola, has been a vocal critic of the handling of information related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Employees of a Florida-based retail health company said JP Morgan Chase Bank suddenly terminated their personal and company bank accounts without an explanation."

CEO, Steven Rye:
“It’s just hard to believe that your family, your wife, your kids can’t have a bank account because of the opinions of your employer and they’ve never done anything wrong,” Rye said. “We all have completely clear records.”
"Rye said he was told his children would not be able to carry accounts with Chase Bank in the future."

It is interesting to note that although banking accounts were closed, any Chase mortgage and/or auto loan accounts were kept open by the bank.
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Binance Australia (a crypto exchange) was debanked by a crypto friendly payment provider Zepto. Binance currently has over 1 million customers in Australia. They were initially provided with 24 hour notice but had their account closed in 12 hours. It appears that Zepto was directed to do so by its payment partner, Cuscal, which banks the majority of the crypto industry in Australia.

In addition to debanking of certain crypto exchanges, other financial institutions including major banks in Australia, such as Wespac and Commonwealth, have begun to block payments to these exchanges, thereby blocking customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies.

Binance indicated that no prior warning or redress were provided and no reasons were given, however, it was indicated that this may be under the guise of and connected to Australia's wider push to crack down on crypto scams and financial abuse. https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-australia-debanked-on-short-notice-says-regional-manager
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