Blockchain Catch-upThis is Charles Brett’s start-of-the-week Enterprise Times ‘blockchain catch-up’ Week 2 of 2022. Necessarily it is idiosyncratic and selective.

It is not intended to be comprehensive but does seek to highlight ‘Quick Takes’ on specific developments as well interesting pieces to read, a listing of some (not all) announcements/press releases and pointers to upcoming events.

Quick Takes – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up 2022-Week 2

House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee – central bank digital currencies: a solution in search of a problem?

“The Bank of England and HM Treasury are jointly exploring the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). A CBDC is different to a cryptocurrency (or ‘crypto asset’) such as Bitcoin, which is privately issued and not backed by any central party.

“A CBDC would not be a new currency; it would be a form of central bank electronic money that could be used by households and businesses to make payments—in essence a ‘digital banknote’.

“It would be the only form of electronic money available to the public that is issued by the Bank of England (see Box 1 for an explanation of central bank money and commercial bank money). In a March 2020 Discussion Paper on the possibility of introducing a UK CBDC, the Bank said it would be in addition to physical cash, not a replacement. …”

Quick Take: this House of Lords report comes to stark conclusions, at least for those who do favour CDBCs. We have yet to hear a convincing case for why the UK needs a retail CBDC.

While a CBDC may provide some advantages on speed of settlement and cheaper and faster cross-border payments, it would present significant challenges for financial stability and the protection of privacy. Furthermore, a lot of work remains to find workable solutions which do not entail difficult design trade-offs which may make a CBDC unattractive.

The report is worth the read, and makes a welcome contrast, and sense of balance, to the lightweight blockchain-related ’emissions’ from the House of Commons.

7 pieces to read – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up 2022-Week 2

Selected announcements/press releases/opinions – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up 2022-Week 2

  • How AI and blockchain could fix broken supply chains (opinion)
  • 5 NFT-based blockchain games that could soar in 2022 (opinion)
  • Maven11: ten blockchain ecosystem predictions for 2022 (opinion)
  • Despite blockchain gaming’s play-to-earn angle, I prefer to pay (opinion)
  • Visa partners with blockchain company to pilot CBDC platform (announcement)
  • HashCash to revolutionize biometric research in blockchain-based digital identity creation (announcement)
  • Axelar begins rollout of public Mainnet launch … bringing decentralized interoperability to Ethereum, Avalanche, Terra, Moonbeam and others (announcement)
  • Togg to build smart mobility blockchain solutions on Avalanche (announcement).

Selected upcoming events

  • Crypto Finance Conference (San Moritz, January 2022)
  • Digital Assets Week (21-25 March 2022)
  • Bitcoin 2022 (April 6th-9th, 2022)
  • Paris Blockchain Week Summit (12-14th April 2022).

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