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Israel’s Central Bank is Reportedly Testing Digital Shekel CBDC

Israel’s Central Bank is Reportedly Testing Digital Shekel CBDC

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Israel is currently testing its digital currency according to the deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel.

Israel could be stealthily making significant progress on its digital currency, according to Andre Abir, the deputy Governor of the country’s central bank. It is said the bank has already begun the process of issuing out the currency as it looks to carry out an internal pilot program. Talk of the digital shekel first surfaced in 2017 but the developments have been scarce.

The bank executive previously said that the chances of Israel adopting a digital currency in the next five years was only 20%. The country, however, appears to have taken serious interest in the matter. The probability of developing the digital currency has significantly increased but Abir notes it is still not above 50%.

Israel’s local newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported news of the country’s progress in CBDC development, saying it came out as a leak. Abir, while talking about the role of the digital shekel at a conference of the Fair Value Forum of IDC Herzliya, let out the information. The news outlet notes that the deputy governor of the bank of Israel surprised almost everyone by remarking that the bank had already implemented the pilot program.

The Bahamas and Cambodia remain to be the only countries that have launched their central bank-backed digital currencies. There are, however, many that are either in the planning or testing phase including Sweden and France. The former has concluded several trials of its e-krona whereas the latter recently confirmed that it was working on a digital currency experiment in a test environment.

Development of a digital currency in the US is still lagging. Earlier this week, the former Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Chris Giancarlo discussed the subject of the digital currency and its potential impact on the people. Giancarlo is currently part of the Digital Dollar Foundation tasked with helping the US catch up and compete in the virtual currency niche.

In regards to the development of the dollar, he said “.[…] our new mission is to make sure central banks wake up to this and the US Fed wakes up to this, that these social values that got us here, the rule of law, a free capital markets, free enterprise, zones of individual economic privacy, are ingrained in a new digital future of the US dollar, and that we don’t allow ourselves to be taken in by what China’s doing and match that state surveillance approach.”

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UK Regulator FCA: Most Investors are Unaware of Crypto Warnings

UK Regulator FCA: Most Investors are Unaware of Crypto Warnings

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A study by the Financial Conduct Authority has shown that just one in 10 people are aware of the regulator’s warnings about cryptocurrency.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial markets regulator, has said that most cryptocurrency investors are not aware of the various warnings related to cryptocurrencies.

The FCA’s study released on Thursday estimates that more than 2.3 million adults in the UK own or hold cryptocurrencies. As per the survey numbers, this represents about 4% of the country’s population and shows that an additional 400,000 have bought cryptocurrencies since January last year.

The research also showed that the number of UK adults who have heard of cryptocurrency has increased to 78%, up from 73% this past year.

However, only one in 10 of the respondents who said they have heard of cryptocurrencies reportedly know of any of the consumer warnings put out by the FCA.

Also, while most consumers understand that cryptocurrency investments remain “largely unregulated,” more than 29% do not understand the risks concerned nor what crypto is.

Despite this, the study reveals that more than 50% of respondents reported positive experiences with crypto assets, up from 41% in January 2020. An even smaller number (11%) of consumers said they regretted getting into crypto.

According to the FCA, interest in crypto among UK consumers has spiked alongside overall growth within the market. Investor interest appears to have been piqued by the explosion in prices.

The Bitcoin price, for instance, rose from lows of $10k in late 2020 to hit over $64,000 in April this year. It has, however, declined to under $30,000 and currently trades near $37,700.

Sheldon Mills, the Executive Director for consumers and competition at FCA, said in a statement:

“… it is important for customers to understand that because these products are largely unregulated that if something goes wrong they are unlikely to have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service. If consumers invest in these types of products, they should be prepared to lose all their money.”

The research is the fourth the FCA has undertaken on cryptocurrency ownership and forms part of the regulator’s strategy to ensure more people understand the inherent risks they face when investing in the emerging sector.

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