1. Kenyan Banks Want to Integrate Blockchain Tech With Regulation approval
Kenyan banks want to integrate blockchain in their operations “to distribute payments and create credit-scoring models to rate potential borrowers”. In order to do so, they are now seeking regulatory approval. A 2016 legislation imposing a cap on the interest rate that is possible to charge led to a decrease in earnings for the banking sector. The industry profitability fell 9.6% to 133 billion shillings ($1.32 billion). This led banks to look for other ways to increase their profits. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) previously acknowledged the benefits blockchain could bring. However, it also mentioned the risks and possible misuses. This prompted CBK to call for significant levels of control.
2. Liechtenstein Bank Union Bank AG Issues Stable Coin
We previously reported on the Liechtenstein royal family’s interest in crypto investments to protect their wealth and the Liechtenstein government working on the development of blockchain-friendly regulations. It has now been revealed that the Liechtenstein bank Union Bank AG has issued a stable coin, an in-house cryptocurrency backed by fiat currencies such as the Swiss franc. It is also the first regulated bank to issue its own security token. This year, Union Bank’s priority has been blockchain. It wants to become a “full-service blockchain investment bank” and launching the stable coin “Union Bank Payment Coin (UBPC)”, was a step in that direction. Chairman of the board of directors Mohammad Hans Dastmaltchi stated that they also want to create new revenues opportunities, cut the cost base and create solutions which will facilitate efficiency.
3. Thailand To Start Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Project
The Bank of Thailand, the country’s central bank, has announced the Project Inthanon Collaborative Partnership, a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Eight partnering banks, mostly domestic, will take part in the collaborative project. R3’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform Corda will be employed to create a Proof of Concept (PoC) prototype. In this way, domestic funds will be transferred within the country. The initiative is an attempt to increase the level of readiness of the Thai financial industry in terms of technology innovation. The phase 1 of the project will involve the “design, development and testing of a proof-of-concept prototype for domestic wholesale funds transfer by using wholesale CBDC”. It should be completed by March 2019.
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