Announced Monday, six international banks have signed letters of intent to issue stablecoins, or tokens backed by fiat currency, on World Wire, an IBM payment network that uses the Stellar public blockchain. The network promises to let regulated institutions move value across borders — remittances or foreign exchange — more quickly and cheaply than the legacy correspondent banking system. So far three of the banks have been identified — Philippines-based RCBC, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, and Bank Busan of South Korea — the rest, which are soon to be named, will offer digital versions of euros and Indonesian rupiah, “pending regulatory approvals and other reviews,” IBM said. The network went live Monday, although while the banks await their regulators’ blessings, the one stablecoin running on World Wire at the moment is a previously announced U.S. dollar-backed token created by Stronghold, a startup based in San Francisco.
According to Stablecoinindex, The Total Market Cap of the current renowned stable coins are up to USD9.32bn, with this number not even including all of the fiat-collateralized stable coins such as USDC, X8X, etc. Since the end of 2018, various firms are turning their focus to stable coins, voicing their opinions towards central banks who have remained pretty pessimistic towards their introduction. The Central Bank of Korea: “Stable Coin for Korea? Still Premature!”The Central Bank of Korea recently published a report “Central Bank Digital Currency and Financial Stability”published on Feb 7th, making a very specific announcement that the issuance of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is too much “premature”, and currently they will only be focusing on R&D………..
Senior advisor for digital assets at the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Valerie Szczepanik reportedly noted that stablecoins could experience issues under current securities laws. Blockchain-related news website Decrypt reported her comments on March 16.
Szczepanik, also known as the Crypto Czar, was appointed to the new position of associate director of the Division of Corporation Finance and senior advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation for Division Director Bill Hinman in June of 2018.
When Szczepanik reportedly made the statement concerning securities at Austin’s SXSW conference on March 15, she also broke stablecoins into three categories.
One kind of stablecoins are the ones tied to real assets such as gold or real estate, and another type are the ones tied to fiat currency held in reserves, in Szczepanik’s classification. The third and last category uses market financial mechanisms to keep the price stable. Explaining the last kind, Szczepanik said:
“I’ve seen stablecoins that purport to control price through some kind of pricing mechanism, whether it’s tied to the issuance, creation or redemption of another type of digital asset tied to it, or whether it is controlled through supply and demand in some way to keep the price within a certain band.”
Szczepanik reportedly said that since a central party controls the price fluctuations over time, that last kind of stablecoins “might be getting into the land of securities.” According to her, if buyers are promised that somebody else will be holding or guaranteeing a profit or controlling the price, the token could be a security.
Ultimately, she explained, whether the asset is labeled as a stablecoin or anything else, the SEC will always subject projects to the same level of scrutiny. She noted:
“Not to sound cliche, but we’d much rather people come to us and ask for [permission], or come talk to us before they do something, rather than doing something and then coming in and asking for forgiveness.”
As Cointelegraph reported in December last year, the United States-based stablecoin project Basis has officially stated that it will close operations and refund investors after they confirmed that they couldn’t avoid a security classification for their secondary token.
After tracking inexplicably flat for some time, Bitcoin suddenly kicked into life last week, but not the way many would have hoped. The major cryptocurrency fell to a new low for 2018 as it hit the doldrums at $5,300, sparking what many have labeled panic. But, there has also been a return to the uncertain volatility which has been a hallmark cryptocurrencies. Volatility has always been an important aspect of cryptocurrencies, but it is a double-edged sword. Without the upward volatility that was seen through the end of 2017, the cryptocurrency market, driven by Bitcoin, would still be very niche and mostly unheard of…………