• Authorities in Shenzhen, southern China, have handed out $1.5 million of a new digital currency as part of a trial of a cashless society.
  • Last Friday authorities gave 50,000 lottery winners the equivalent of $30 each to spend digitally by October 16, the state-run China Daily reported Monday.
  • The digital currency is not like a cryptocurrency, and is issued and controlled by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China.
  • The PBoC said it plans to formally launch the digital payment system in late 2020, according to the BBC.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Chinese city has handed out 10 million yuan, or $1.5 million, in digital currency to trial what citizens would do in a cashless society.

On Friday, 50,000 people living in the Luhou district of Shenzhen were given digital “red envelopes,” each containing around 200 yuan ($30) worth of the digital currency, the state-run

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The new coronavirus may remain infectious for weeks on banknotes, glass and other common surfaces, according to research by Australia’s top biosecurity laboratory that highlights risks from paper currency, touch-screen devices and grab handles and rails.

Scientists at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness showed SARS-CoV-2 is extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes at room temperature, or 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). That compares with 17 days’ survival for the flu virus.

Virus survival declined to less than a day at 40 degrees Celsius on some surfaces, according to the study, published on Monday in Virology Journal. The findings add to evidence that the Covid-19-causing coronavirus survives for longer in cooler weather, making it potentially harder to control in winter than summer. The research also helps to more accurately predict and mitigate the pandemic’s

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Friday's report was compiled by BIS, the Bank of England, the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank. File Photo by Canadastock/Shutterstock/UPI

Friday’s report was compiled by BIS, the Bank of England, the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank. File Photo by Canadastock/Shutterstock/UPI

Oct. 9 (UPI) — The Bank of International Settlements and seven central banks around the world published a report Friday that set a framework for a digital currency to work in conjunction with paper money.

The report highlights three key elements of the proposal — cryptocurrency coexisting with cash in a flexible payment system, supporting wider policy objectives and promoting innovation and efficiency.

“This report is a real step forward for this group of central banks in agreeing on the common principles and identifying the key features we believe would be needed for a workable [central bank digitalcurrency] system,” Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor for the Bank of England, said in a statement.

Along with

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Hopes raised by West African leaders of finally launching this year their “Eco” common currency, in the pipeline for three decades, have faded as the coronavirus crisis and squabbling over severing the remaining monetary ties to former colonial ruler France snarl progress.

Chiefs of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc said last year the Eco would be set up in 2020 but the short time frame was not enough for the sheer logistics involved.

Ahead of the euro’s launch, its founding nations took 15 years to grind through preliminaries like setting up a central bank, deciding on an exchange rate regime, minting coins and printing banknotes and updating IT systems and bureaucracy.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has now definitively skewered the African bloc’s ambitious timetable.

This was exacerbated by an imminent reform supposed to switch eight ECOWAS members who use the CFA Franc,

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Stablecoins were constructed to dampen volatility of crypto-currencies. Companies that issue one type of stablecoin do this by creating a reserve of fiat currency, a 1:1 peg to the underlying fiat. In this type of stablecoin, the volatility that should remain is the volatility of the fiat itself. The market cap for stablecoins as of a few days ago was $20 billion. This is a three-fold increase from the start of the year.

Why Stablecoins

Why should anyone put any money into stablecoins when they can hold dollars or euros or pounds? There are two reasons, one is that the stablecoins are native on public blockchains; crypto-currency traders can easily move BTC, ETH, or any other kind of crypto-currency into a stablecoin shelter during periods of high volatility in cryptocurrency. The second reason involves lower KYC burdens during these conversions which allow the holding of

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Sri Lanka has requested India for a new currency swap facility worth about $1 billion and a deferment of debt repayment, both of which are being discussed at the official level, and a mutual understanding on the issues would be arrived at shortly, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa, in their virtual summit on Saturday –which lasted one hour, discussed strengthening of bilateral financial cooperation, reviewed the entire range of bilateral matters and exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern.

Amit Narang, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, in a press briefing after the meeting, said: “India has already provided a $400 million currency swap facility to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in order to assist with economic recovery and to tackle the Covid-19 related disruptions. An additional request for a bilateral currency swap

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(Bloomberg) —

Ghana’s cedi has weakened every year since at least 1994. Now the central bank appears to have drawn a line in the sand, ready to intervene should the currency slip out of the tight range it’s held since May.

The Bank of Ghana has sold dollars in the spot and forward markets to stabilize the cedi, and closely monitors foreign-exchange trading to keep speculation to a minimum, according to traders and analysts who spoke to Bloomberg. The central bank is well-armed with foreign-exchange reserves after a $3 billion Eurobond sale in February.

That means the currency probably won’t weaken much beyond the 2.1% decline it’s posted this year – which would be its best performance since 2006, when it dropped 1.4%. The cedi has slumped 18.8% a year on average over the past two-and-a-half decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Ghana's central bank has held the cedi in a tight range

© Bloomberg
Ghana’s central bank has held

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Adds gold, U.S. sanctions, details

KHARTOUM, Sept 10 (Reuters)Sudan declared an economic state of emergency on Thursday after its currency fell sharply in recent weeks, setting up special courtsto prosecute what officials called a “systematic operation” to vandalize the economy.

The transitional government, in charge of the country since the ouster of Omar al-Bashir last year, will criminalize purchasing, selling, possessing or smuggling raw gold or precious minerals, key hard-currency earners.

The pound has declined in recent weeks on what officials blamed on manipulation by those opposing the transitional government.

“We are able to simply say what happened is an open war against the revolution, the economy, the government,” Information Minister Faisal Saleh told a news conference.

Special courts will be set up in coming days to fight smuggling and other illicit activities.

Sudan, a gold producer, took steps in June to further open

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Summary List Placement

  • Hong Kong’s central bank has intervened more than 40 times this year to maintain its peg to the US dollar.
  • It has bought the equivalent of $19.6 billion dollars of its own currency this year, more than it did in the whole of 2009 after the financial crisis. 
  • The peg has been in place since 1983 and allows the Hong Kong dollar to trade in a strict band of roughly 7.8 Hong Kong dollars per US dollar.
  • Analysts don’t think the peg will be removed. One said: “Historically in 1997 when the economy shrunk by 10% and short-term rates and hiked up [around] 30%, the peg still survived. The peg is not in any danger of capitulating at this stage.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hong Kong’s central bank intervened 40 times in 2020 so far to preserve its currency’s peg to the US

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a close up of a brown bear is looking at the camera: Dollar bears are in the ascendant, but one expert says they shouldn’t be.

© Getty Images
Dollar bears are in the ascendant, but one expert says they shouldn’t be.

It’s a popular time to be a dollar bear, with the Federal Reserve running the proverbial money printing presses as fast as possible, and the dollar index (DXY) down close to 10% from its highs of March.

Robin Brooks, chief economist at the Institute of International Finance and the former chief global currency strategist at Goldman Sachs and senior economist at the International Monetary Fund, isn’t sure they are right.

First, he points out, there

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