By now it's common knowledge that China is leaps and bounds
ahead of all other central banks in launching a CBDC, or
Central Bank Digital Currency (which Beijing vows is not a challenge to the
reserve status of the US Dollar, but is precisely
that), however the US is doing everything it can to keep up. And
while one wouldn't get the sense of urgency if one listened to either the Fed
chair or the NY Fed president today...
POWELL SAYS HAVE
NOT DECIDED WHETHER TO ISSUE A DIGITAL CURRENCY
WILLIAMS SAYS FED
IS STUDYING CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCIES ACTIVELY AND IS NOT IN A RACE
... on Monday, the nonprofit organization Digital
Dollar Project said it will launch five pilot programs over the next 12
months to test the potential uses of a U.S. central bank
digital currency, the first effort of its kind in the United States.
According to Reuters, the private-sector pilots which hope to
recreate similar tests held in China last year, will initially be funded by
Accenture and involve financial firms, retailers and NGOs, among others. The
aim is simple: to generate data that could help U.S.
policymakers develop a digital dollar.
Why Accenture, formerly known as Arthur Andersen of Enron fame…
Because a partnership between Accenture and the Digital Dollar Foundation, the
Digital Dollar Project was created last year to promote research into a U.S.
central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“There are conferences and papers coming out every week around
the world on CBDCs based on data from other countries,” said Christopher
Giancarlo, former chair of the CFTC and co-founder of the Digital Dollar
“What there is not, is any real data and testing from the United
States to inform that debate. We’re seeking to generate that real-world data,”
This means that over the next 12 months, a select group
of Americans will have the "honor" of transacting with the next
evolutionary US currency - the digital dollar.
As discussed here extensively in recent years, CBDCs are the
digital equivalent of banknotes and coins, giving holders a direct digital claim
on the central bank and allowing them to make instant electronic payments. On
the other hand, digital currencies allow central banks to track every single
transaction in real-time, to identify the holder of the currency and - when the
time comes - to "expire" it.
As a reminder, last month we reported that China's digital yuan
"is programmable. Beijing has tested expiration dates to
encourage users to spend it quickly, for times when the economy needs a jump
start." The Fed's digital dollar will have this
functionality too, as well as many more, most notably allowing the central bank
to deposit digital dollar in any bank account of its choosing to create
targeted inflation by selectively funding those who are most likely to spend
rather than save…
A few quick words on how CBDCs differ from other traditional
payment methods: While debit cards or payment apps are a form of digital cash,
those transactions are created by commercial banks based on money central banks
credit to those banks’ accounts. They are not fully government-backed, can take
days to settle, and often incur fees. Cryptocurrencies, meanwhile, are
controlled by private actors, and have been soaring in recent years in response
to the unprecedented debasement of fiat currencies.
Central banks around the world, including in China and Europe,
are revving up CBDC projects to fend off threats from cryptocurrencies and
improve payment systems.
Unlike Beijing, the U.S. Federal Reserve has said it wants to
move more cautiously. It has been working with the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology to build a technology platform for a hypothetical digital dollar,
but chair Jerome Powell said last week that it is “far more important” to get a
digital dollar right than it is to be fast. However, it now appears that speed
is emerging as a key variable as well.
Giancarlo said Powell was correct to be cautious but that as
China pushes ahead, the United States must drive a discussion on incorporating
U.S. values such as privacy and freedom of commerce and speech into the
development of CBDCs. “It’s vital that the U.S. asserts leadership as it has in
previous technological innovations,” Giancarlo added.
Giancarlo also gave the trite BS reason why the US
"needs" a digital currency, as it could also boost financial
inclusion in the United States, where transaction fees impede the access of
many Americans to mainstream financial services. Because so many Americans lament
their inability to the dollar as it stands now due to high "transaction
The pilot programs, three of which will launch in the next two
months, will complement the Fed’s MIT project by generating data on the
functional, sociological, business uses, benefits and other facets, of a
digital dollar. The data is due to be released publicly.
According to Reuters, Accenture has previously worked on a
number of CBDC projects including in Canada, Singapore and France. David Treat,
a senior managing director at Accenture, said CBDCs would exist alongside other
forms of physical and electronic money, rather than replace them.
“It’s not a panacea for all money,” Treat said. “We will be
using physical cash and coin for some time.”
Sure we will... until one day the government pulls an FDR
executive order 6102 and confiscates all non-digital currencies.
World’s 1st remote brain surgery via 5G network performed in China Published time: 17 Mar, 2019 13:12 · A Chinese surgeon has performed the world’s first remote brain surgery using 5G technology, with the patient 3,000km away from the operating doctor. Dr. Ling Zhipei remotely implanted a neurostimulator into his patient’s brain on Saturday, Chinese state-run media reports . The surgeon manipulated the instruments in the Beijing-based PLAGH hospital from a clinic subsidiary on the southern Hainan island, located 3,000km away. The surgery is said to have lasted three hours and ended successfully. The patient, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, is said to be feeling well after the pioneering operation. The doctor used a computer connected to the next-generation 5G network developed by Chinese tech giant Huawei. The new device enabled a near real-time connection, according to Dr. Ling. “You barely feel that the patient is 3,000 kilometers away,” he said.
From Amazon to Wal-Mart, digital retail is producing more jobs and higher pay Written by Mitchell Schnurman, Business columnist May 30, 2017 Retail trade is one of the biggest job sectors in America, and the vast majority of those workers still clock in at brick-and-mortar stores. But the big growth is coming from e-commerce, which happens to pay a lot better, too. This is a promising development for retail workers who worry about thousands of store closings and the march of automation. E-commerce also offers a potential antidote to years of low productivity growth and income stagnation. “If this new pattern continues, it will raise real wages across the economy and rejuvenate the middle class,” said a report by economist Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington. By his definition, e-commerce includes online shopping, mail order and warehousing. That’s a more expansive category than usual and was created to capture the growth in what M
Too Much Power to the People? A Food Safety Site Tests the Limits Several national chain restaurants have been the target of complaints on IWasPoisoned.com since the site began in 2009. By KEVIN ROOSE FEB. 13, 2018 Dan Laptev, an electronics analyst, was making his way through the Charlotte, N.C., airport this month when he stopped at Starbucks for a light dinner — a ham-and-cheese sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate. He ate, drank, boarded his flight and got home. And that’s when the trouble started. Mr. Laptev spent much of that night hunched over the toilet with a violently upset stomach. Suspecting his Starbucks meal as the source of his ills, he sent a complaint through the company’s website, but got only an automated form email back. So he did the next best thing: He logged on to his computer and went to IWasPoisoned.com, a website that allows users to post reports of food poisoning, and submitted his saga. “I wanted to let people know to stop eating at Star