CBDCs and asset tokenisation kick off digital regulation in 2020 (February 2020)

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Foreword: METI Advisory wrote this report for SEBA Bank AG. Abstract: After much conceptual debate in late 2019, wholesale CBDCs are poised to become reality during 2020. This will concern monetary flows between commercial banks and the central bank (CB). The degree of centralisation or decentralisation of the underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT) will depend on each specific case. The introduction of CBDCs at retail payment level, on the other hand, is less likely, owing to the number of structural issues raised that hinder the governance of the monetary system.

Discussions about asset tokenisation have traditionally focused on the benefits and consequences for the financial markets. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has put forward a systematic analysis of the regulatory issues connected with widespread asset tokenisation. Allowing, supporting and accompanying asset tokenisation will require substantial regulatory upgrading work. First-mover jurisdictions that follow a principle-based approach to regulation, such as Switzerland, enjoy a material advantage over other countries.

Other noteworthy developments in the digital space at the beginning of 2020 further legitimate DLT on a global scale and underline the leading position of Singapore as a cryptofinance hub.