Regulated Fintech Firm Monerium to Issue E-Money on Algorand Blockchain

Monerium allows clients to develop blockchain-based financial services, such as cross-border settlements, using any fiat currency of choice, such as the euro, pound sterling or U.S. dollar. The firm holds clients’ deposits of fiat currency and releases them in digital form for use on a blockchain.

A regulated European startup plans to bring fiat currency transactions onto the Algorand blockchain.

Iceland-based Monerium, which has a European Economic Area (EEA) e-money license, has entered into a non-exclusive partnership with Algorand. Announced Tuesday, the deal will see the two companies collaborate on developing «real-world use cases that are enabled by advanced blockchain technology» using Monerium’s «programmable» e-money, according to W. Sean Ford, Algorand’s COO.

Digital fiat currencies, the company believes, can make effective cost savings, by removing intermediaries and enabling new complex payment types.

Established in 2016, Monerium made the news when ConsenSys invested in its $2 million seed round in 2019. The e-money license granted by the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority in June 2019, allows the firm to operate across the EEA, which includes EU countries as well as Norway and Liechtenstein.

Algorand was originally unveiled in 2017 as a blockchain with a highly scalable consensus algorithm. The brainchild of celebrated cryptographer Silvio Micali, it has attracted substantial interest from investors, raising more than $60 million in late 2018 and completing a $60 million token sale in just four hours last summer. A fund specifically for investing in the Algorand ecosystem received $200 million in commitments from investors including NGC Ventures and Arrington XRP Capital in October.

In November, Algorand went through a significant update that, amongst other things, added support for smart contracts and decentralized finance (DeFi) features. That included a new asset tokenization facility and batch transaction functionality enabling sophisticated transactions – including circular trades and internal account settlements – in one trade.

«Algorand incorporates key features for many mainstream use-cases, including stateless smart contracts and scaleable proof-of-stake consensus,» said Sveinn Valfells, co-founder and CEO of Monerium. «The Algorand leadership has taken a pragmatic and deliberate approach in designing a blockchain for mainstream applications while staying close to the ethos of the open source community.»

«Supporting new blockchains with mainstream relevance is a priority for Monerium,» he added.

RBC Analysts: Squashing Libra Could Boost China’s Digital Currency

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets have suggested that stifling Facebook’s Libra may leave the field open to China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) to dominate in emerging economies.

China shifts development of digital currency in extra gear

On Oct. 15, financial news outlet Markets Insider reported that RBC analysts believe that once Facebook announced its Libra stablecoin plans, China shifted development of its own yuan-backed CBDC into the next gear. RBC wrote to clients:

«If US regulators ultimately dismiss Libra and decide not to draft regulations to encourage crypto innovation in the US, China’s CBDC may be strategically positioned to become the de facto global digital currency in emerging economies.”

United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently said that firms that decided to drop Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project did so because of regulatory concerns. Mnuchin added that the Libra project is not up to par with American Anti-Money Laundering standards, saying:

“If they don’t meet the standards of our money-laundering standards and the standards that we have at FinCEN, we would take enforcement actions against them. I think they realized that they are not ready, they are not up to par and I assume some of the partners got concerned and dropped out until they meet those standards.”

However, RBC analysts believe that many companies are still interested in joining the Libra project and those that left may return given the right regulatory circumstances. The global investment bank said:

«If a clear regulatory roadmap is developed and Libra launches successfully, we would not be surprised to see these firms reapply to the association.”

Facebook should add Bitcoin

Cointelegraph reported that U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson said that Facebook should consider adding Bitcoin to its Calibra wallet, instead of creating its new currency Libra. The Republican added that part of the beauty of Facebook’s Libra stablecoin is that brought all of the problems that already existed on the social media platform to the surface.

He said that Facebook’s bid to launch its stablecoin had served to intensify focus on many of the platform’s existing operations, arguing that:

”Facebook already filters content – some people say with bias, some people say it’s great, they’re protecting my safe space … So do we want filtered speech or free speech? Do we want filtered transactions or freedom?”

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