Weekly round-up of news: 28 February
In 2018 I published number of articles on the subject of cashless society covering digital currency, distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchain, cryptocurrency, and biometrics. In the UK and across the world, banks have been on the decline for decades. They are becoming increasingly automated, and in some rural areas are now non existent. I documented number of initiatives/agendas for 2020 by the World Bank, IMF and major global governance organisations’ intention to roll out or test new digital financial systems for retail and wholesale banking, for example G20 - Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), Universal Financial Access by 2020 (UFA2020). The vision for universal financial access was first announced by the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at the 2013 World Bank Group-IMF Annual Meetings.
This became a reality for me few weeks ago when my online bank asked if I wanted to view other banks, I held, in one place. This is all part of the Open Banking linked to CDCB (CBDC, also called digital fiat currency or digital base money). Few days ago, my bank outlined a recommendation for two forms of verification to log on – this is part of the implementation of the Payment Services Directive (PSD) which is linked to digital currency and is the new regulations for PD2‘s “Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for online banking”.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international financial institution owned by central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks". BIS has created the ‘Innovation BIS 2025 to prepare banks for central bank digital currencies‘ by 2025.
We are now in 2020 and already we are seeing these objectives been acted upon:
For the first time, the World Economic Forumgathered insights from central bank researchers, global policy‑makers, international organizations and experts from over 40 institutions to create the CBDC Policy‑Maker Toolkit. The CBDC Policy‑Maker Toolkit provides high‑level guidance and information for retail, wholesale, cross‑border and private-sector issued “hybrid CBDC” as well as for large, small, emerging and developed countries.
The World Economic Forum’s Central Bank Digital Currency Policy-Maker Toolkit outlines the potential wholesale, retail or hybrid model of such a currency…
Browsing the agenda for last year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, it’s reasonable to think that “cryptocurrency” was quite literally the Topic Which Shall Not be Named….. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) initiatives are already in the works, like China’s digital Yuan and the European Central Bank’s recently announced plan to launch its own digital currency.
Amidst the annual spectacle of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Bank for International Settlements this week announced that multiple central banks have created a group that will ‘assess potential cases for central bank digital currencies
This comes as a whole host of central banks worldwide are in the process of launching a digital currency. In the last month alone, the Bank of Lithuania, the Reserve Bank of India, the National ...
The European Commission will present this autumn a strategy on an integrated EU payments market, to facilitate the use of national payment services across Europe and reduce the dependency from international card operators such as Visa or Mastercard. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) provides for uniform credit transfers and direct debits for over 500 citizens in the EU.
As central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) march into view, a privately run version of digital fiat is adding a key tech partner. Utility Settlement Coin (USC), the blockchain-based payments system involving commercial and central banks, will be working with ConsenSys-backed startup Adhara, CoinDesk has learned. Adhara was behind Project Khokha, which used enterprise blockchain client Quorum to see how zero-knowledge proofs performed with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
Sweden’s Riksbank said on Wednesday it had begun testing an e-krona, taking the country a step closer to the creation of the world’s first central bank digital currency (CBDC). If the e-krona eventually comes into circulation it will be used to simulate everyday banking activities, such as payments, deposits and withdrawals from a digital wallet such as a mobile phone app, the Riksbank said. “The aim of the project is to show how an e-krona could be used by the general public,” the Riksbank said in a statement.
The U.S. central bank is studying the feasibility of a digital currency, said Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard. The U.S. central bank is studying the feasibility of a digital currency, said Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard.
A domestic European payments market – which is both integrated and innovative – is fundamental to the creation of a more integrated, competitive and innovative Europe. And in a world of increasing digitalisation and globalisation, such an integrated and competitive payments market can only be achieved by exploiting the potential offered by ever more sophisticated innovative technology. Both established and new market actors should be able to benefit from the innovative space created.
The Bank of England’s chief cashier has indicated support for an official digital currency, saying it is “crucial” for central banks to consider entering the market before it becomes dominated by tech giants. Sarah John, who is responsible for issuing banknotes, said it was “really important” for central banks to consider digital currencies “as an option”.
He said a new digital currencybacked by a large group of nations would unlock dollar funds that governments currently hoard as an insurance policy in uncertain times. A digital currency “could dampen the domineering influence of the US dollar on global trade”, Carney said in a speech at the gathering of central bankersfrom around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “If the share of trade invoiced in [a digital currency] were to rise, shocks in the US would have less potent spillovers through exchange rates, and trade would become less synchronised across countries. “The dollar’s influence on global financial conditions could similarly decline if a financial architecture developed around the new [digital currency] and it displaced the dollar’s dominance in credit markets. By reducing the influence of the US on the global financial cycle, this would help reduce the volatility of capital flows to emerging market economies.”
HSBC said the number of customers using its branches has fallen by a third over the past five years, with 90% of customers ...
Growth in online banking has impact on branches while insurer begins cost-saving plan ...
A staggering 3,303 branches in the UK put up their shutters between January 2015 and August 2019 — equivalent to 34 per cent of all the banks in the country…… And as that process continues apace nationwide, the banks are decreasing their financial support for the network that administers cash machines. Between January 2018 and December 2019, the number of free-to-use machines fell from 54,500 to 45,000.
This morning, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned that the UK should brace for an economic downgrade as a result of ...
The market plunges will most likely weaken Americans' confidence in the US economy, even among those who don't own stocks ... Stock markets in Asia and Europe plummeted further today as investors fear the pandemic will spark a global economic downturn.
Millions of Chinese Firms Face Collapse If Banks Don’t Act Fast Brigita, a director at one of China’s largest car dealers, is running out of options. Her firm’s 100 outlets have been closed for about a month because of the coronavirus, cash reserves are dwindling and banks are reluctant to extend deadlines on billions of yuan in debt coming due over the next few months. There are also other creditors to think about.
“It Will Be Really, Really Bad”: China Faces Financial Armageddon With 85% Of Businesses Set To Run Out Of Cash In 3 Months For the past two weeks, even as the market took delight in China’s doctored and fabricated numbers showing the coronavirus spread was “slowing”, we warned again and again that not only was this not the case (which recent data out of South Korea, Japan and now Italy has confirmed), but that for all its assertions to the contrary, China’s workers simply refused to go back to work (even with FoxConn offering its workers extra bonuses just to return to the factory) and as a result the domestic economy had ground to a halt as we described
Globalists Look To Exploit Coronavirus In Push For Global Government Once you understand the globalist mindset, almost everything they do becomes rather robotic and predictable. It should not be surprising that the World Health Organization (WHO), a branch of the United Nations, has been so aggressive in cheerleading for the Chinese government and its response to the coronavirus outbreak. After all, China’s communist surveillance state model is a beta test for the type of centralization that the UN wants for the entire planet. They certainly aren’t going to point out that it was China’s totalitarian system that allowed the outbreak to spread from the very beginning.
News in general……
While the Bible does not give any instruction to practice or participate in Lent, many churches do. In fact, since the contemplative prayer movement has come into full swing, more and more churches are observing Lent. And, in fact, Lent is often being used as the open door to bring contemplative prayer into a church. This is largely done through the multitudes of books from religious publishers who have now become conduits for contemplative spirituality….. While many of these books may be from Catholic or Orthodox publishers, do not think that will keep evangelicals from reading them. As we have mentioned in other documents, Catholic mystic Richard Rohr was told by one of his publishers that his largest reading audience was young evangelical men (tomorrow’s pastors).
The Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL) spent four years creating a vaccine against the highly contagious coronavirus that infects birds called Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). Now, they’re adapting the vaccine for the human coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
BORIS Johnson today threatened to walk away from EU trade talks in just three months time if a deal isn’t close. The PM’s tough talk came as he published the British government’s 36-page blueprint for the all-important negotiation with Brussels.
Britain will not participate in a European scheme to fast-track the extradition of criminals following its departure from the European Union, the government said in its mandate for negotiations on a long term relationship with the bloc. UK to drop European Arrest Warrant!
In a dramatic development for same-sex couples in Israel, the country’s top court struck down on Thursday a law that blocks single men and gay couples from using surrogacy to have children — giving the Knesset a year to pass a new law. Boris Johnson Unleashes Green Hell On Post-Brexit Britain
GRETA Thunberg joined the climate strike march in Bristol today with thousands of protesters. Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate began with the 17-year-old Swedish activist… addressing the crowd, Greta said: “This is an emergency. People are already suffering and dying from the consequences of the climate and environmental emergency but it will get worse. "Still this emergency is being completely ignored by politicians, the media and those in power. "Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises for the elected officials.”
Pro-life campaigner, Christian Hacking, is to appeal an anti-social behaviour injunction which was demanded by pro-abortion MP, Stella Creasy, for challenging her extreme policies on abortion. Christian, 29, was issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) on 3 October 2019 by Waltham Forest Council for showing lawfully validated pictures of abortion in the MP’s constituency.
The Scottish Education Secretary, John Swinney, has said that a drag queen who performs regularly on the adult entertainment scene and has a series of X-rated posts on social media should not have been invited to read stories to schoolchildren….. Swinney said that such events were “an implicit part of the health and wellbeing part of the curriculum” but that “quite clearly this was an invitation that should not have been issued given the background material that had been on the social media account of the individual concerned.”
The stage-managing of children for the depraved goals of homosexuality and gender rebellion needs to come to an end, right now. Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana mayor running for president, affirmed a nine-year old boy’s “gay” identity in front of a cheering Denver crowd. The episode had all the earmarks of a set-up, with this boy being the pawn in a high-stakes game.
As China rises and the West grows increasingly troubled, the existing world order is in flux. To stabilize it, the US would need to strengthen its alliances across Eurasia, initiate economic plans, and work closely with the Chinese….. Without China’s inclusion in the world order, no feasible security conditions can be laid out. To be preserved, the world order must be adjusted to rising challenges and new opportunities. Many Western diplomats are uncomfortable dealing with China, but casting Beijing in the role of direct competitor would not solve the problem. Nor would giving Beijing large concessions, which would be too risky. UN Secretary General Praises Xi Jinping’s Commitment To The 2030 Agenda - This is one of the shortest press releases ever seen from the UN, but Secretary-General Guterres has nothing but praise for Xi Jinping for his part in pushing Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda.
When He Refused to Deny Christ, They Cut Off His Right Hand’: Nigerian Christians Face Horrific Attacks It’s Sunday morning in Nigeria, and Christians across the country are heading to church. As part of the continent’s largest Christian community, believers here have their choice of places to worship. Here at Family Worship Center, led by Pastor Sarah Omakwu, a graduate of Regent University, thousands lift their hands in praise.
As per Trump’s Deal of the Century, the Sanhedrin petitioned the Israeli government, filing to receive permits that would allow priests to perform the ritual of the Pesach (Passover) sacrifice temporary altar that will be transported to the temple mount and removed immediately after the ceremony. If the government grants the permits, as it should, based on Israeli and international law, this will be the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple that an altar has stood in its proper place on Judaism’s holiest site: the threshing floor purchased by King David.
Netanyahu’s Offer from Political Rival: Remove Jordanian Waqf from Temple Mount and Get all My Votes But on Wednesday, Ben Gvir held a press conference that many anticipated was going to be an announcement of resignation. Instead, he offered to quit the election race if Netanyahu agrees to several demands, among them – The removal of the Waqf’s authority on the Temple Mount.
King of Saudi Arabia Hosts Rabbi in his Palace for First Time The Board of Directors of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), comprising senior representatives of the world’s major religions, met this week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for its 22nd regular session to discuss strategy for 2020 and beyond….. For the first time ever, the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, met and hosted a rabbi in his formal residence last week.
Pope Francis sick a day after supporting coronavirus sufferers Pope Francis has come down with a “slight indisposition,” forcing him to cancel a planned Mass in Rome, just a day after he expressed his solidarity with coronavirus sufferers around the world — and as the disease continues to spread across Italy.
By releasing the principles the Catholic Church is weighing in on a debate raging among policymakers and corporations worldwide over whether global rules for AI are necessary and who should write them. The release comes as both the U.S. and the European Union are moving forward with regulation for AI. The Vatican’s initiative “adds a very global and influential voice to the debate over AI ethics,” IBM's AI Ethics Global Leader Francesca Rossi told POLITICO ahead of the launch.
Clearview AI, a start-up with a database of more than three billion photographs from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, has been hacked. The attack allowed hackers to gain access to its client list but it said its servers had not been breached. Most of its clients are US law enforcement agencies who use its facial-recognition software to identify suspects. CEO speaks out about Clearview AI's controversial facial recognition technology - Clearview AI facial recognition software aims to match people's faces with billions of images scraped off social media and shares them with clients like police agencies. CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett joined CBSN AM with more on the CEO's first network TV interview
The vice president of Iran is understood to have been infected with coronavirus a day after the country’s health minister….
Iranians are scared and angry. Their government has been lying to them and their media was instructed not to report on the coronavirus outbreak as it rapidly spread from the religious city of Qom to other cities. On Saturday, Tehran was awash with rumors and riots occurred in the city of Talesh on the Caspian sea due to a quarantine. “The situation inside the hospital is very scary and terrifying,” one man tweeted. “Even the hospital medical staff, some of whom are infected with the coronavirus, are terrified." In Isfahan medical students protested at the local University of Medical Sciences due to lack of protective gear. Iranians are well educated and they know the risks as their government tried over seventy hours to stop the spread of information about the crises.
The money is intended to develop Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, including the production of weapons and payment to the organization's terrorists, and originates from the Iranian government working against the State of Israel.
European Union (EU) High Representative Josep Borrell on Friday responded to Israel's plan to authorize the construction of 3,500 housing unitsin the E1 area of Samaria….. The EU statement follows condemnation by eight European ambassadors, who "stated their grave concerns about announcements of the Israeli authorities regarding new settlement units in the occupied West Bank & East-Jerusalem, particularly in E1 area, Givat HaMatos & Har Homa."
The United Nations Middle East peace envoy condemned Israel’s recent advancement of construction plans in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that he said would effectively cut the West Bank in two and isolate some Palestinian neighborhoods. The statement from Nickolay Mladenov, the special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, joined warnings from others in the international community against the building plans announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.
Germany permits Iran’s regime to build European network – report The Iranian regime-controlled Islamic Center in the northern city of Hamburg oversees a growing network in Europe that is tolerated by the state and federal authorities in Germany. In a bombshell January exposé…titled “The long arm of the mullahs: Iran’s European network is controlled from Hamburg,” the historian and Islam expert Christian Osthold unpacks the dangers of the Iranian clerical regime in Europe.
Turkey plans to push Syrian government forces away from its military observation posts in northwest Syria's Idlib region by the end of February, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, despite advances by the Russian-backed military. "We are planning to liberate our observation posts from the surrounding [Syrian government forces] by the end of this month, one way or another," Erdogan told his party's parliamentarians in a speech on Wednesday. Strike in Syria Kills 33 Turkish Troops on Thursday; Ankara Prepared to go to War with Russia
Before World War II, anti-Semitism was not only pervasive throughout the Western world -- but widely tolerated. Germany's Nazi regime could unleash anti-Semitic persecution that led both to the Holocaust and general indifference. At the Evian Conference in July 1938, no country would agree to welcome German Jews seeking refuge. Two months later, British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier met the German Führer Adolf Hitler in Munich -- and did not even mention the Jews. Kristallnacht, on November 9-10, 1938 although described worldwide in newspapers, did not cause even one official finger to be lifted. The idea of the Allied armies destroying the railways that led to Auschwitz and the other death camps was also totally dismissed.
A Belgian MP who previously served as the country’s deputy prime minister was roundly condemned on Friday following...
Jordanian MP: ‘I Dare any Lawyer, Engineer or Doctor to say Hello to a Jew!’ Jordan’s trade unions, said Saud, were “very strict when it comes to normalization. I dare any lawyer, engineer, or doctor to say hello to a Jew. This is something that we reject completely.”
Mohamed Sifaoui was forced to flee North Africa in 1999 after death threats from Islamists, and now lives in France under police protection. His course on radicalization was recently cancelled by Sorbonne University in Paris, which Sifaoui blamed on "the pressures of Islamic associations and left-wing unions."
In a world where the best-case scenario has a Democratic Party that's hostile to Israel and the worst-case scenario has a White House hostile to Israel, we need to consider the military and diplomatic conditions under which a military campaign is launched in Gaza.
Sanders’ political agenda squarely reflects the outlook of a particular section of society: the ‘progressive’ wing of America’s upper-middle class, which forms his base of support. A look at his programme shows that Sanders is more aligned with the perspective of the faculty lounge than the shop floor. He is quite willing to override the views and interests of the working class – and even destroy their jobs – to pursue his brand of ‘socialism’.
The Court of Appeal’s ruling over Heathrow airport’s mooted third runway has reignited in some quarters the already highly combustible fury in Britain over judicial activism. The court has ruled that it was unlawful for the government to have given its approval to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow without taking into account its own obligations under the Paris agreement to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Referring to the Sept. 17 election, Lieberman said, “I told them both they should form a unity government, but they preferred to argue about who would serve first and who would serve second [as prime minister under a rotation agreement], which is how we got dragged into another election. Next time, I’m making no commitments. I’m always transparent and try to say from the get-go what my commitments are.”…. Lieberman said he was being asked why he ruled out joining a coalition with the Joint Arab List. “There is one reason: It is a list comprised of supporters of terrorism. Let’s discuss the facts and then everyone can draw their own conclusions. The facts are clear: Not a single member of the Joint Arab List attended Shimon Peres’s funeral, but that same week they visited the grave of [late PLO leader Yasser] Arafat in Ramallah,” he said. “The Joint Arab List condemned the United States for the targeted attack on arch-murderer [Iranian Quds Force commander] Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who murdered more people than any person in the 21st century. Joint Arab List leader Ayman Odeh personally condemned the Arab League for putting Hezbollah on a list of terrorist organizations.”