16.05.2021

No Compromise on Our Principles for Any Future CBDC

The most notable is the idea that any provisional CBDC would be run as a public-private partnership that would provide citizens with a base-level of aspects to a digital currency without cutting out private initiatives such as libra and thus hampering competition.

Scorer’s presentation at Consensus: Distributed was a run-through of the bank’s CBDC discussion paper, which was published earlier this year, and therefore reiterated some of the proposed design principles of which industry observers had already been made aware.

The Bank of England (BoE) has dug its heels in and said it won’t be told what to do by any tech providers about what is and isn’t possible when designing a future central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Speaking briefly during Consensus: Distributed’s Future of Fiat Workshop, the BoE’s senior fintech specialist, Simon Scorer, underlined the U.K. central bank will not negotiate on its design principles with tech providers, should BoE ever move forward with developing a digital pound.

“We’re clear that any choice of technology around a CBDC should be led by a set of requirements and not the other way around,” Scorer said. “We would not let the choice of technology dictate the design; instead, what we would do is decide what functionality the CBDC requires, what our design principles are, and then we would choose what technology is most appropriate.”

But the key difference in today’s discussion, compared to previous ones, was the tone. Scorer made the BoE’s position on its design principles abundantly clear: There will be no compromise. Tech providers that want to work with the bank had better get their design pitch-perfect the first time around.

Bakkt Touts New Payment Integration With Starbucks

Some users of the Starbucks mobile app are now being presented with “Bakkt Cash” as a payment option.

The move seemingly coincides with the bitcoin derivatives provider’s long-awaited focus on consumer-facing services and the announcement earlier today of a whopping $300 million funding round. Bakkt’s parent firm, Intercontinental Exchange, first revealed Starbucks was looking at retail applications for crypto payments in August 2018.

However, Starbucks says the Bakkt Cash option is only in limited beta for now.

“We are currently conducting a limited test for our customers, using the Bakkt payment method”, a Starbucks spokesperson told CoinDesk. “Customers can see Bakkt as an option but the test is only available at this time.”

In a statement, Starbucks confirmed it remains a “strategic launch partner” for Bakkt’s dollar-denominated digital wallet.

“We anticipate that a range of cryptocurrencies will gain traction with customers and, through our work with Bakkt, we will be uniquely positioned to constantly consider and offer customers new and unique ways to pay seamlessly, at Starbucks,” the coffee chain said.

Bakkt President Adam White announced the integration on Twitter:

Although Bakkt declined to offer an official statement about the Starbucks partnership, the company’s Monday blog post describes plans to put loyalty points and bitcoin in the same conversation. Bakkt has discussed offering loyalty point programs and crypto payments through a single app since at least February, when it first moved to acquire loyalty solutions provider Bridge2.

“At Bakkt, we take a broad view of digital assets”, the company wrote. “Whether it’s miles from your favorite airline, loyalty points from the local grocery store, or bitcoin you’ve purchased, the Bakkt app enables you to aggregate all of these assets into a single digital wallet.”

In response to the growing threat of coronavirus in the U.S., Starbucks is temporarily moving to a takeout-only model, CNBC reported Sunday.

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