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With the accelerated growth of blockchain technology and the emergence of new players in crypto economy, several central banks have begun to consider the possibility of creating their own crypto. In this edition, we indicate the text “Should central banks issue digital currency? Suddenly, it’s an urgent question”, published by the MIT Technology Review, which addresses the recent behavior of central banks to digital currencies.

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Block News

U.S. Department of the Treasury tests blockchain technology to track federal funds – The U.S. Department of the Treasury is developing a pilot program for a blockchain-based letter of credit – . The pilot program, which has been under development since September 2019, will be responsible for tokenizing letters of credit and thereby trace the grant money, from federal reserves to their beneficiaries. According to the Treasury’s innovation manager, Craig Fischer, the tokenization of payments will help the identification of the grant amounts, their beneficiaries and their concessions date. According to the Department’s report, the program will be completed in late January. (THE BLOCK CRYPTO, 01.13.2019)

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Venezuela demands payment in Petros for the sale of aircraft fuel – The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced in his annual speech that Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) will only accept Petros – state crypto – as payment for the purchase of fuel by airlines. The companies will buy the fuel with the PetroCard, which converts the payment, including international currencies, into Petros. In his speech, Maduro stated that the payment of fees for issuing documents, including passports, will also be done with the crypto. It is not of public knowledge whether this requirement will be made only for the capital’s airport, Simón Bolívar International Airport, and if it will applyto international airlines. (COINDESK, 01.15.2019.)

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The Brazilian National Bank for Economic Development – BNDES will participate in the Blockchain Expert Policy Advisory Board organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD – The Blockchain Expert Policy Advisory Board, an OECD initiative, will bring together representatives of the 45 OECD governments member and representatives from non-member countries, alongside representatives of the European Commission, the private sector, industry bodies, and civil society groups, in France. The event aims to provide technical advice and the primary focus will be on relevant issues to an international framework of blockchain policy principles. Vanessa da Rocha Santos Almeida will represent BNDES and, therefore, Brazil, at this event. (COINTELEGRAPH, 01.23.2019.)

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The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) flagged the possibility of regulating Libra – Given all the regulatory impasses faced by the Libra, APRA, one of Australia’s leading regulatory authorities, officially proposed to the Australian Senate committee, a regulation project that would allow the supervision of electronic wallets that are widely used as means of payment, such as, for example, the Facebook Libra project. The new regulatory framework will not only serve to adapt to the changes in the current financial system but will also be able to accommodate proposals such as the ecosystem for the development of a global stablecoin. (THE BLOCK CRYPTO; 01.21.2020)

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Akon’s agreement with the Senegalese government makes “Wakanda” viable – In 2018, Akon announced his project to build a city in Senegal – entitled Akon City -, aiming to transform it into a Real-life Wakanda, as we reported in a previous newsletter. After more than a year and a half, the rapper finally signed an agreement with the Senegalese government to enable the construction of the city. Akon City will have its economy based entirely on the crypto created by the singer, called Akoin, which is scheduled to launch in February but already allows registration for its test versions. (ÉPOCA NEGÓCIOS, 01.17.2020)

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Central Banks come together to explore the benefits of a digital currency created by them: CBDC – The Central Bank of England has joined the Central Bank of Canada, the Central Bank of Japan, European Central Bank, Central Bank of Sweden, National Bank of Switzerland and Bank of International Settlements (BIS) to analyze the possible benefits of a central bank’s digital currency (CBDCs). According to the official pronouncement, central banks will analyze existing CBDCs in economic, functional and technical terms, including international operations and the sharing of information on emerging technologies. If the group, which is formed by the main central banks, evaluates the CBDC as advantageous, it will insert digital currencies in the most influential institutions in the world. In parallel, a draft of India’s national blockchain and DLT strategy suggests that the country already plans to launch its CBDC, the digital rupee, on a national blockchain. (DECRYPT, 01.21.2020; COINTELEGRAPH, 01.28.2020)

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New Central Bank rules concern exchanges – The Brazilian Central Bank published Circular No. 3.978, which provides the policy, procedures and internal controls that must be adopted by regulated institutions to prevent the use of the financial system for money laundering crime and terrorist financing. The new rules may affect the exchanges, because, although they are not yet regulated by the Central Bank, they are seeking to achieve the status of Financial Institutions before the local authority, and the insecurity regarding money laundering crimes has been the main argument used by traditional banks to close exchange accounts. On January 29, BACEN Circular Letter No. 4,001 was published, which presents a list of operations and situations that may constitute indications of the occurrence of crimes of “laundering” or concealment of assets, rights and values and financing of terrorism, subject to the monitoring procedure of Circular No. 3,978. (COINTELEGRAPH; 01.23.2020; BACEN 01.29.2020)

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IBM obtains patent for a self-aware token IBM obtained the registration of a new patent for the development of a self-aware token, which will be used to record events of an offline transaction. The registered document details that ‘when a platform user makes an offline transaction involving a platform token, a system is necessary to allow a token to appear online later and continue to be authenticated, validated and evaluated by the platform. It is believed that this system would constitute a significant improvement in the art of processing financial data’. The token will not be able to store the transaction data itself, but it will be able to store it on a user’s device, such as a computer or cell phone. (COINDESK, 01.26.2020; COINTELEGRAPH, 01.28.2020)

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Switzerland authorizes a company to launch an initial public offering of tokenized shares on blockchain network – Swiss company OverFuture has received approval to have its shares traded on the blockchain through an initial public offering (IPO), being the first in the country to offer an IPO directly using a blockchain. The IPO prospectus indicates an offer of 8,399,000 shares traded in a tokenized manner on the Ethereum blockchain, having a value of 1.25 euros per share, with smart contracts provided by EURO DAXX. According to the company’s prospectus, it is subject to the rules of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). (COINDESK; 01.29.2020)

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Blockchain Desk Indica

In this issue, we indicate the report “The Chainalysis 2020 – Crypto Crime Report“, which is updated annually by Chainalysis. The report analyzes the use of blockchain technology in criminal activities. The study indicates that while the amount of bitcoin sent by criminal entities has doubled between 2018 and the end of 2019, these transactions represent only 0.08% of the total number.

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Blockchain Desk.