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Riding “the Red Wave” with a Smile

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Riding "the Red Wave" with a Smile


If you have bought XRP at the end of December 2017, January 2018, chances are part of your XRP holding is still under water, if you would sell this moment. Yes, I know Dollar Cost Averaging (Dollar-Cost-Averaging is a simple technique that entails investing a fixed amount of money in the same fund or stock at regular intervals over a long period of time; 401K’s use this technique). Still, many people still have a red portfolio (I know in Macau this is considered good, you guys read GREEN)…

Investing in Crypto Currency, your bank, investor or neighbor who is NOT invested, will all tell you: DON’T do it, it is very VERY risky, but YOU know what THEY do NOT know ….. Blockchain is the future, XRP is the future, heck, is the now and the future and yes, although it takes time ….. who is laughing in 2020, 2021, 2022 ! ! !

Another great saying: you only lose money if you sell …. Read it again: DO NOT SELL, if you do not have to. And yes I know, sometimes, you need to, but in the end, it is the long-term strategy that is going to laugh in the face of that neighbor, I know, you know, we all know, that we are going visit, gently knock on his door and laugh at his door for like 45 seconds, the minute XRP is showing us, we are all (secretly) thinking / dreaming of … craving for…

So, we need a laugh, a smile, a happy feeling, that helps us after we stared at the XRP price … I am guilty, I am trying to be positive, I am trying by:

Cooking with Wietse:
https://xrpcommunity.blog/cooking-with-wietse-wind/

Nothing BUT a Fairy Tale ! ! ! !:
https://xrpcommunity.blog/nothing-but-a-fairy-tale/

Superheroes; Ripple AND the XRP Community:
https://xrpcommunity.blog/superheroes-no-not-ripple-but-the-xrp-community/

BUT

Somebody should not pass by without being un-noticed ! ! !

One of XRPCommunity’s Blogger is definitely going for a “I am really funny” price with all the blogs he presents us. I am talking about XRP the Standard Productions (@XRP_Productions).

You must have read his blogs and maybe you have replied to one of his posts: FUD, SOURCE PLEASE, THIS IS FUNNY or of course replying with one of these guys:

Hate him or Love him, but I wanted to know a little more about this guy, so I reached out to him: XRP the Standard Productions:
https://coil.com/u/XRP_Productions

Screenshot-2019-12-26-at-22.49.14

XRPTwin:
So XRP the Standard Productions, who is behind this Twitter Handle ….. what would you like to share?

XRP the Standard Productions:
In my day job, I’m an industry professional, though for privacy purposes I will refrain from saying which industry. I started out on XRPChat in the fall of 2017 after becoming enthralled by … XRP/ Ripple, and the pursuit of an Internet of Value. I regularly communicated with Hodor and other community members and soon transitioned to Twitter, which was becoming a great place to get all of the latest scuttlebutt (and to learn from people like David Schwartz and Matt Hamilton).

XRPTwin:
How did you come up with the idea, writing stories about the xrp industry; and why are you doing this?

XRP the Standard Productions:
When I was on XRP Chat, I would regularly think that XRP/ Ripple and the Internet of Value were potentially amazing subjects for short stories and creative projects. We are in the primordial stages of something that could profoundly change the world—how damned exciting and ripe with possibilities! I began a short story contest centered around XRP and had a blast. Many people you may know in the community contributed stories for it (Nordic Ann, JC Collins, Zerpenator, Tom Kuster and XRPTwin …. of course ! ! !).

I soon wrote and personally produced several other stories (with voice actors and illustrators) for fun and released them under ‘XRP the Standard Productions.’ I wanted to capture people’s imaginations and help to expand their view on XRP and the IOV. The productions were very expensive for me personally (with almost no return) and took a great deal of time.

XRPTwin: Please check out the following production:
Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-15.36.21
I’ve always been a fan of ‘The Onion’, a satirical news outlet, and one day, I realized that the crypto world is potentially a never-ending source of great satirical content. Everyone who has been in crypto for longer than a week knows that it’s a giant insane-asylum.

XRPTwin:
Obviously you must know a fair deal about the XRPCommunity, to push their buttons, what do you Like more : the guys that love your stories or criticize and belittle you?

XRP the Standard Productions:
Both, equally. It gives me great joy to hear someone say that they laughed out loud at my article. I’m very happy to bring some humor and lighten up their day, if only for a few minutes. BUT I’m also somehow tickled greatly by the people who just react to the headline or who read the articles and don’t ‘get it’. I hold no animosity, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people can be so clueless about satire. Hopefully it is also fun for fans of my stuff to peruse through my Twitter threads to read the negative and confused comments.
Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-14.49.35
XRPTwin:
How difficult to get new stories out?

XRP the Standard Productions:
Ideas come to me throughout my average day and I normally start by putting a headline in a new blog post on my Coil account cue so that I don’t forget. I then fill in the details as time permits. I’m not a professional writer, but I do feel I’m at least somewhat competent and can simulate a news article close enough for a little satirical endeavor like mine.

XRPTwin:
How many stories are out now?

XRP the Standard Productions:
Since I started posting in mid-November, I’ve tried to have a new story out almost every day. I’d say there are close to 40 satirical articles and counting. It’s tricky, but I’d love to be able to maintain one story a day.

XRPTwin:
What was the most fun article for you?

XRP the Standard Productions:
There were so many that made me laugh as I was typing them. It’s difficult to pick a favorite.
One that definitely comes to mind is the one in which Brad Garlinghouse accidentally sent 60 billion XRP to a Twitter scammer.
Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-14.37.33

That still kind of cracks me up, especially the following part:
“It looked like David–it had his picture on it and everything,” said Garlinghouse. “So, I admit I got a little excited. I mean, how could I pass up the chance to turn 60 billion XRP into 180 billion XRP? That would’ve been a pretty cool deal.”

I also got a kick out of the fact that David Schwartz himself responded to someone in that Twitter thread who was chastising me. Schwartz said something like, “Brad does that kind of stuff all the time.” That was hilarious and seemed to imply that he understands and likes the satire. That puts a big smile on my face.
Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-14.39.03

I do have to agree with the Standard Productions, the 60 billion transfer to me was the best. Specially because it is a major issue within the XRPCommunity, the fake XRP YouTube Channel. And indeed, major achievement that David Responded on the tweet … he is a sport ! ! !

XRPTwin:
Did you think it would be a hit/ flop before you started?

XRP the Standard Productions:
Hits and flops are all relative, but when I posted the first article, “Congress Unveils Bold 50-Year Fast-Track to Crypto Regulation” I expected a handful of people to chuckle and for most to ignore it. It ended up getting 52,000 Twitter impressions and 3,500 Coil visits, which was of course MUCH more than I ever anticipated. I’m averaging well over 1,000 link clicks for each article, so it feels good that I’m sending over 1,000 people to Coil every day. I would LOVE to see Coil and the whole web-monetization movement succeed and I really enjoy being part of the early days of it.

XRPTwin:
How much fun is it to write your stories and do they cost a lot of time?

XRP the Standard Productions:
It’s a lot of fun … I’m constantly cracking myself up, so even if no one else laughs, at least I’ve had a good time. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours to get these satirical articles right. If I do any photoshopping, that adds to the time as well. Full disclosure: This is definitely a fun labor of love at this point and not a money-maker.

Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-14.31.36
Funny Part from: Christine Lagarde Proud of Herself for Not Mentioning Ripple During ECB Speech

XRPTwin:
Some noteworthy reactions?

XRP the Standard Productions:
David Schwartz’s reaction was my favorite, of course. Digital Asset Investor has also gotten a kick out of the articles and has been quite kind in talking about them in his videos from time to time. I am continually amused by people who post things like, “FUD!” and “Fake News!” especially when the article is blatantly satirical on its face.
A few people have even said stuff like, “Coil is becoming the site for FAKE NEWS!” I must admit, that bothers me a bit, because I truly think that satire is often quite witty and honorable and is not even remotely in the same realm as harmful fake news. Luckily, those sentiments are few and far between.

XRPTwin:
A blog is a success if ….?
Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-16.07.24
XRP the Standard Productions:
you feel better overall after having written it.

XRPTwin:
I will stop when …..?

XRP the Standard Productions:
I feel like it.

Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-15.57.35-1
not officially confirmed but it may be an “XRP the Standard Productions” relative who is photobombing in the back

XRPTwin:
Is there a deeper meaning behind the blogs?

XRP the Standard Productions:
I would put my articles in three categories:

  1. Satire that makes a strong point
  2. Satire that is silly but makes a soft point
  3. Satire that is almost all just funny silliness.

XRPTwin:
When you read, ‘you should take content down, because, although Satire, new people investing in XRP could interpret this the wrong way’ …. Does this make you move towards the DELETE ALL button?

XRP the Standard Productions:
NOT AT ALL ! ! ! In fact, this is a passionate subject for me. Satire is always going to have the potential of confusing certain individuals and catalyzing a spectrum of responses. The effectiveness of the satire is a matter of opinion and will always be up for scrutiny, however the freedom of the author to post the satire should never be breached. Satire written on ANY subject has at least the possibility to cause some amount of confusion for newcomers (like ‘The Onion’ posting a satirical political piece), but a human being with basic intelligence realizes the satire quite quickly.

The articles are ridiculous on their face and although there are no bold disclaimers on each article (look at ‘The Onion’ and similar sites who also don’t have disclaimers on each article), there are disclaimers on my Twitter page as well as my Coil page. ALSO, I would implore people to review my pieces to see that the majority are plain silliness, with no content even remotely approaching anything dangerous or slanderous.
Screenshot-2019-12-28-at-16.32.51
Screenshot from: China Wins Big at 2019 Bitcoin Awards

There you have it . . . I seriously think XRP the Standard Productions’ Blogs are far from the truth and are very clearly FAKE.

FAKE, but hits EVERY POINT it wants to hit, don’t get me wrong ! ! !

In times we all need to laugh, because our investment took us more South than we wanted to, it is absolutely a big salute to the content creator for sharing this magic: that gives us a smile on our faces; as long as you know it is SATIRE



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LATAM: Low Interoperability Highlights Crypto’s Big Potential

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LATAM: Low Interoperability Highlights Crypto's Big Potential


Across Latin America, a fragmented payments landscape has resulted in low interoperability, often leading to high fees for both senders and receivers of payments. Regulators in the region are working — with varying progress and approaches — to enable real-time payment options that foster greater interoperability, increase financial inclusion, generate revenue for banks and businesses and help protect economies from global market volatility. With use cases like inbound remittance flows seen as a critical component of GDP for numerous LATAM countries, identifying ways to reduce costs associated with those remittances is a key driver of regional growth.

At the same time, central banks are becoming more interested in re-examining their relationship with crypto, creating an opening for the crypto and blockchain sectors to help bring forth a unified LATAM payments system to make low-cost, faster and more seamless transactions a real possibility. Of course, not all crypto is created equal. Using a digital asset that was designed specifically for payments will be key to implementing a successful digital payments system that can handle high transaction volumes without friction.

Supporting Trends

Latin America as a region is highly dependent on the US dollar: from US remittance flows and USD as a reserve currency, to economies like Costa Rica and El Salvador that use dollars interchangeably with local bills. Some LATAM businesses even use USD as a liquidity source by routing payments through American banks to transfer funds to international accounts within the region. This reliance on USD means crypto adoption in the States is likely to have a major impact on crypto adoption in Latin America.  

There are also various new fintech players in the market that are working to get involved in consumer payments. From an awareness standpoint, for example, the sponsorship of football clubs across the region by crypto exchanges is helping to bolster public understanding of how to access crypto. Public adoption and embrace of crypto as an alternative to cash holdings or bank accounts is also gaining popularity in some countries as an easier, less volatile alternative to local currency. In one case, the use of crypto as an alternative to cash is being promoted by the government in El Salvador where the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender is significant. And there are central banks, like that of Brazil and Mexico, that have recognized the value and potential of crypto and have started developing and providing their customers with digital wallets.

Because Brazil is often a leader in Latin America in the adoption of new technology, it’s worth noting that the country is driving smart and progressive crypto use and regulation. In March of 2022, Brazil announced that it had selected nine projects to advance in its quest to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), indicating a real thirst for a digital future. Brazil’s central bank has also been ahead of the curve in showing public-facing interest in the potential of DeFi, NFTs and even the metaverse. And in terms of consumer adoption, Brazil is seeing crypto trading activity boom, portending a bright crypto future for the region.

From a compliance perspective, businesses in the region are able to use the same fiat compliance measures, like Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), for crypto transactions to ensure the safety of these flows and help protect the integrity of the financial system. 

Barriers and Challenges to Success

Because crypto has, at times, been perceived as a threat to the established bank sector — which has historically controlled the financial markets and influenced regulatory and legal structures in the region — any major movement toward crypto is likely to encounter some level of structural resistance. As payments infrastructure is often dictated by larger banks and their governmental relationships, this could make it difficult for digital banks to compete for market share on a level playing field. But, in fact, as we’ll describe below, crypto offers all kinds of financial institutions powerful new business opportunities.

From a consumer perspective, there is also a disconnect between traditional banking and the use of money for everyday transactions across many LATAM economies. Lower incomes often equate to less acceptance of fee-based banking services, meaning that both convenience and efficiency take a backseat to value in many markets. This can manifest itself in people being more willing to wait in line to pay cash rather than incur a fee for an online transaction that might be completed in seconds. Without implementing better ways to make digital payments and financial services available, large sections of the LATAM economy are often left underbanked.  

Lastly, with such a high dependency on USD and US clearing institutions, as costs rise in the States, fear and volatility in the LATAM marketplace also rise. The possibility of insulation from other regions’ financial swings underscores a major reason why achieving interoperability across Latin America and avoiding the de-risking trend in the US is so critical for LATAM economies.

Opportunities and What’s Next

There is a lucrative opening for traditional banks, fintechs and governments to increase adoption of crypto-forward technology to address this underbanked and fragmented market. These challenges will be much easier to solve once digital banks have more ready access to the market, helping drive down high fees and frictions associated with institutionally-controlled transactions. This will also help move people away from physical cash and into the digital payments space — increasing convenience for consumers and creating new markets for both businesses and banks without heavy reliance on the traditional US banking sector.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on both consumers and banks in the region that have historically relied on cash transactions. Many financial institutions are already seeing growth in digital payments due to an uptick in cashless transactions as the region looks for safer, quicker and more convenient payments alternatives. An Americas Market Intelligence study shows that Brazil’s banked population grew to 88% in 2021 with Chile not far behind at 82%. Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru all experienced growth that year as well. The region will need to continue prioritizing foundational infrastructures like internet connection, electricity, and institutional trust for digital payments to remain viable and financially inclusive. 

Smart and progressive regulation will beget further successful regulation — leading to increased innovation and progress around crypto across Latin America. In the wake of the regulatory debate happening in the United States, there is a large opportunity for banks and fintechs to work with regional regulators to create smart public policy frameworks to ensure that all boats rise.

LATAM is a diverse and varied region, with both developed and emerging economies breaking into the digital payments landscape to varying degrees. But by finding interoperability across the region, Latin America can become more financially independent, more financially attractive to outside investment, and more financially inclusive.

Learn how Ripple’s payments solution can help absorb price fluctuations, allowing for more certainty, visibility and transparency in real-time payments.



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For the Love of NFTs: VSA Partners and Rare Air Media Bring Jordan NFTs to the XRPL

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For the Love of NFTs: VSA Partners and Rare Air Media Bring Jordan NFTs to the XRPL


Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are creating tremendous opportunities for creators and collectors of art, memorabilia, and other digital assets. Since the initial launch of Ripple’s Creator Fund, we have seen incredible momentum and exciting NFT use cases come to life on the XRP Ledger (XRPL). Creators like Justin Bua, xPunks, and Sebring Revolution continue to prove out tokenization projects and capabilities for metaverses, gaming, art and beyond.  

Making Waves in Media & Entertainment

Now Rare Air Media, producer of Michael Jordan’s visual autobiography For the Love of the Game, is getting into the NFT game, too. The company is working with VSA Partners, the premier creative agency partner to Ripple’s Creator Fund, to design, develop, and market a range of NFTs on the XRPL, including a one-of-a-kind selection of digital assets covering former NBA player Michael Jordan’s life and storied career. The first batch of NFTs is expected to hit the market in Q2 2022 and will include an intimate selection of original, momentous images of Michael Jordan, accompanied by his personal thoughts and observations leading up to the photo.

As additional use cases for programmable, functional NFTs continue to be built out and tested across industries, the media & entertainment space has been among the earliest adopters of the technology: expanding NFT use cases across music, sports, ticketing, access rights, and beyond. From celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton, to professional athletes like LeBron James, and major brands including Disney and the Grammys — it seems there is no shortage of possibilities for NFT applications in the industry.

High-profile brands, celebrities and their agencies have specialized needs when it comes to identity and ownership of digital assets. The unique security and identification attributes of distributed ledger technology have opened up extraordinary opportunities for creators of digital content to not only assign value to their work, but to profit from it and share behind-the-scenes stories with an even wider audience. With more and more collectors coming aboard the blockchain train, both sides of digital asset commerce can be confident in the assets they purchase and create. 

Why Create NFTs on the XRPL?

The XRP Ledger has ease of use and native token functionality built-in by design. Released in January, NFT-Devnet — a beta environment built to enhance NFT support on the XRPL — lowers the technical barriers to entry for those looking to get started either creating and minting their own NFTs or on behalf of their customers and their brands.

A couple of the key benefits to using XRPL for NFT creation include:

  • Speed: each transaction on the XRPL takes no more than 3-5 seconds to complete.
  • Low Cost: at fractions of a penny per transaction, costs are inexpensive enough to enable a wide variety of NFT use cases.
  • Sustainable: the XRPL is the first major blockchain to be carbon-neutral — maintaining neutrality since 2020 — and is more efficient than leading proof-of-work blockchains.
  • Simplicity: NFT capabilities on the XRP Ledger pre-program all activities that an NFT user may wish to complete, including minting, burning, trading, requiring royalties, and more.

Created for All Creators

Whether you are new to the NFT space or are looking for a new ledger to build on, the XRPL is customizable to meet your NFT needs—large or small. As one contributor to the growing XRPL community, we’re working closely with developers, creators, marketplaces, creative agencies and brands to help define the future of NFTs and the tokenization of assets in a low-cost, sustainable and accessible way. 

As the Creator Fund and its supported NFT projects continue to grow and gain momentum, especially across the media & entertainment industry, it’s likely we will continue to see expanded uses and partnerships take shape—not only on the XRPL but across the broader tokenization landscape as a whole. 

Check out the Creator Fund for more information or learn more about tokenization on the XRPL



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CBDCs: From the “Hype” to the “How” of Making Financial Inclusion a Reality – Part 2

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CBDCs: From the “Hype” to the “How” of Making Financial Inclusion a Reality - Part 2


In our recent survey of over 1,600 financial leaders across 22 countries, we uncovered some pretty astounding insights: A whopping 85% of payment leaders at financial institutions globally think their country will launch a digital currency in the next four years. 

If these last two years in a pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that time flies. So this begs the question: What needs to happen between now and four years from now in order to make those launches possible? It turns out there’s quite a bit to consider, not only as central bankers and commercial bankers, but as individuals as well.

In our first post on this topic, we discussed why the term “financial inclusion” has become such a buzzword when talking about Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and how we at Ripple succinctly define it (hint: making financial services available to people who don’t have access to them today). While the insight gleaned from our research is promising and the uptick in global CBDC exploration encouraging, there is still much to be addressed in regards to how the implementation of these digital currencies will impact society, and what primary hurdles we need to collectively overcome in order to achieve that vision of a more financially inclusive future. 

Key Use Cases: A Quick Recap

As a refresher, in the first post we identified three primary use cases where we see CBDCs having the biggest immediate impact on financial inclusion across the payments and financial landscape: cross-border remittances, access to peer-to-peer (P2P) loans, and the ability to establish credit history. 

If properly planned for and implemented, the application of digital currency technology to these use cases has the potential to dramatically change the landscape for the better, making the world a more accessible and inclusive place. Across all of these use cases, however, there is a consistent set of practical hurdles to solve: education, user experience, identity, offline access and security. In the first post, we covered education and user experience, so let’s dive into identity, offline access and security, and how CBDCs can help clear these hurdles.

Key Hurdles to Implementation: Going Beyond the Hype

Identity

Developed countries require a national identity to open a bank account, which poses inclusivity problems in and of itself. For citizens who don’t have a family name, a passport, a driver’s license or any other form of identification, this presents a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. We need non-traditional ways of establishing identity for those people to gain access to financial services. With the use of a CBDC, those individuals would have the ability to be associated with a digital wallet, allowing them to meet basic Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for identity verification. For example, in places where mobile phone usage is high but access to financial services is low, leveraging registered SIM cards and mobile phones as a way of proving identity for payments without a traditional ID number could help create a threshold to meet these requirements.

Even in countries like the US, there is ample opportunity for digital currency-backed solutions to improve current processes related to payments and identity. In the case of the pandemic, governments around the world were challenged to extend stimulus funds to those without bank accounts or because of technology limitations. Funds were delayed, or had to be issued by paper check—or people slipped through the cracks altogether. With a CBDC, stimulus monies could be distributed instantly and directly to every citizen with a mobile phone—regardless of bank account or ID status—via a digital wallet using similar SIM card/mobile methods.

Offline Access

In order to access and use CBDCs, internet access is required. CBDC usage will grow with internet usage through mobile devices, especially given the increasing rate of smartphone penetration throughout the world. However, implementing critical telecommunications infrastructure won’t be enough to match the pace of innovation needed to ensure constantly available internet access on a 24/7 basis. This goes for both developing nations and countries like the US, where currently 7% of all Americans say they don’t use the internet

CBDC platform design needs to consider offline access. Having internet access as a prerequisite to success may harm CBDC adoption and usage, both for those without regular access to the internet and for instances where unexpected power outages occur or devices run out of battery, for example. 

With this in mind, CBDCs that provide alternate solutions—particularly those that don’t require constant charging and can run without a direct power source or internet connection for consecutive days or weeks—and can accommodate offline scenarios will be critical to implementation. One example of how to solve for offline access could be a solution that mirrors the Indian e-Rupi, which leverages digital voucher mechanisms such as QR codes that can be printed offline and scanned to make retail purchases.

This is one idea of many being piloted, and we believe even better solutions will surface. As overall CBDC adoption and usage continues to grow, it will be critical for central banks and governments to proactively think about how to enable offline access, built in by design.

Security

While the use of digital currencies and digital wallets holds a lot of promise for financial inclusion, it also poses potential security risks. With a bigger chunk of the global population making payments, transferring funds, and managing finances on their mobile devices, new vulnerabilities arise. 

These security breaches can come in both physical and digital form. For example, simply leaving your phone at a restaurant or other public place, or having it stolen on public transportation. Virtual risks can include anything from phishing scams and social engineering hacks, to Denial-of-Service (DoS) and double-spend attacks. While a lot of people already use financial apps on their mobile devices and are aware of these risks, many do not and this will likely be a barrier to entry for those people. 

Luckily there are ways to avoid and mitigate these risks with the use of CBDCs. One such solution is a blockchain-based CBDC that uses a multi-signature (“multi-sig”) wallet. This means at least two other trusted parties would hold credentials to that same wallet to help ensure no unauthorized use or access. These other trusted parties could be the central bank itself and/or family members or other contacts of the mobile device owner. Additionally, by imposing spending limits and methods to track transaction frequency when the CBDC user is offline, the impact of such attacks would be greatly reduced.

Paving a Path Forward

While there is work to be done to pave the way for a CBDC-driven future, the journey ahead is an exciting one and undoubtedly promises a more inclusive, sustainable financial system. Digital currencies offer many additional benefits that are currently unmatched in today’s financial landscape, and we’re confident that central banks, commercial banks, and society as a whole can work together to overcome the hurdles and create a clear path forward as we continue to prove out the technology, pilot projects around the world, and ensure equal and equitable access.

Download our CBDC whitepaper to learn more.



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