Recent research by the European Central Bank (ECB) claims that it is possible to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC) payment system that protects user privacy. Per the report dubbed “Exploring anonymity in central bank digital currencies,” the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) established a proof-of-concept (PoC) for anonymity in CBDCs, which came as part of its ongoing research of CBDCs and their potential benefits to the public. The dedicated PoC was developed in collaboration with tech companies R3 and Accenture.
The ESCB used R3’s open-source blockchain platform Corda to develop a PoC featuring four parties such as two intermediaries, a central bank and an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) authority. Each party was represented in the network by a node that operated a CorDapp, which enables assets to be transferred between the entities.
Within the PoC, the bank built a solution for AML/combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) compliance procedures, which kept user identities and transaction histories anonymous i.e. neither the central bank nor intermediaries other than those chosen by the user could see the data. “To protect users’ privacy, the notary has no access to data such as transaction values, users’ addresses or states’ histories,” the report read, adding:
“The proof of concept shows that it is possible, using the Corda platform, to build a simplified CBDC payment system that safeguards users’ privacy for lower-value transactions, while still ensuring that higher-value transactions are subject to mandatory AML/CFT checks.”
However, the bank noted an array of issues that purportedly needed to be improved including reducing the amount of information visible to parties that are not involved in the transactions, and users’ ability to access or spend CBDC balances when the intermediary is unavailable. The ECB stated that privacy could be further improved by applying mechanisms such as rotating public keys, zero-knowledge proofs, and enclave computing. The bank further noted that issues of scalability were not addressed or tested in the PoC and that interoperability with a real-time gross settlement system must also be researched.
The ECB’s research seems to nominally address concerns previously expressed by world regulators regarding digital currencies. Earlier in December, European Union authorities outlined multiple risks and issues associated with the adoption of stablecoins, arguing that if adopted on a global scale, stablecoins pose a threat to monetary sovereignty, privacy, and cybersecurity. Just recently, the president of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, said that the financial institution should be ahead of the curve regarding the demand for stablecoins. In late August, the ECB released a paper in which is stated that stablecoins with a clear governance framework may be hampered by uncertainty coming from a lack of regulation.
3 Big Blockchain Firms Working Together On A DeFi Product That Pays Passive Income
In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits. The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Do Kwon, founder and CEO of Terra, explained in a prepared statement:
“While DeFi staples such as Maker and Compound have been revolutionary in creating fully decentralized crypto money markets, the volatility of their interest rates makes them unsuitable to be used as a household savings product. DeFi mass adoption needs the creation of a fully decentralized savings account that offers dependable APR.”
Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards. The initial governance for this platform will come from the Interchain Asset Association (IAA), a newly formed organization that sees Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Jack Platts of the Web3 Foundation, and Do Kwon of Terraform Labs collectively steering the ship.
Telegram Is Set To Shut Down The TON Testnet By August 2020
Although Telegram has terminated its blockchain project, Telegram Open Network (TON), in May 2020, the TON test net has been apparently running for almost one year. In a July 6 update, the official TON development group on Telegram announced that it would be discontinuing its support of the test network for TON. Remaining TON validators will be turned off by August 1. In the post, the TON official recommended network participants save all their relevant data and stop their testing processes. Despite the testnet being set to shut down less than a month from now, network participants will still be able to continue their experimentation after the testnet is terminated. In order to do that, users can install their own testnet validators, described in greater detail in three different how-to documents containing guidelines for the Full Node, the Validator, and Test Grams.
Telegram launched the TON testnet for explorer and node software on Sept. 6, 2019. In anticipation of its scheduled Oct. 31 launch last year, the company released an alpha version of an iOS wallet to work with its native token, the Gram. But Telegram’s TON plans were never fully realized, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly deemed Telegram’s $1.7 billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement. As officially announced by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the firm had already reimbursed more than $1.2 billion by June 25.
Brock Pierce Enters The 2020 US Presidential Race
Brock Pierce, entrepreneur, crypto venture capitalist, and child star, has announced his USA Presidential run on Twitter July 5. His tweet stated: “
“I, Brock Pierce, am running for President of the United States of America.”
Pierce’s campaign site states that he is a pioneer digital currency and has raised more than $5 billion for the companies he has founded. Pierce is the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of EOS Alliance, Block.one, Blockchain Capital, Tether, and Mastercoin (first ICO). His website, sparse on details, does not say if he is seeking a nomination in a political party or if he is running as an Independent.