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White House OSTP department analyzes 18 CBDC design choices for the US

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White House OSTP department analyzes 18 CBDC design choices for the US

The technical analysis of the 18 CBDC design choices was made across six broad categories — participants, governance, security, transactions, data and adjustments.

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White House OSTP department analyzes 18 CBDC design choices for the US

As directed by the President of the United States, Joe Biden, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) submitted a report analyzing the design choices for 18 central bank digital currency (CBDC) systems for possible implementation in the US.

The technical analysis of the 18 CBDC design choices was made across six broad categories — participants, governance, security, transactions, data and adjustments. The OSTP foresees technical complexities and practical limitations when trying to build a permissionless system governed by a central bank, adding:

“It is possible that the technology underpinning a permissionless approach will improve significantly over time, which might make it more suitable to be used in a CBDC system.”

However, the analysis assumed there is a central authority and a permissioned CBDC system.

Helping policymakers decide on the ideal US CBDC system, the OSTP report highlighted the implications of including third parties in the two design choices under the ‘participants’ category — transport layer and interoperability. For governance, the report weighed various factors related to permissioning, access tiering, identity privacy and remediation.

Other important factors OSTP wants policymakers to consider include cryptography and secure hardware (for security), signatures, transaction privacy, offline transactions and transaction programmability (for transactions), data model and ledger history (for data) and fungibility, holding limits and adjustments on transactions and balances (for transactions).

The technical evaluation for a US CBDC system highlighted the report’s inclination toward an off-ledger, hardware-protected system. Upon the launch of a US CBDC, the report will eventually highlight the various trade-offs policymakers decided to make when finalizing the design choices.

Related: White House publishes ‘first-ever’ comprehensive framework for crypto

On Sept. 8, the OSTP recommended monitoring and regulation while weighing the environmental and energy impact of crypto assets in the US.

The related OSTP report highlighted that crypto assets use approximately 50 billion kilowatt-hours of energy per year in the U.S., which is 38% of the global total, while adding:

“Noting direct comparisons are complicated, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express combined […] consumed less than 1% of the electricity that Bitcoin and Ethereum used that same year, despite processing many times the number of on-chain transactions and supporting their broader corporate operations.”

The report further noted the high energy consumption of proof-of-work (PoW) staking in crypto assets.

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Grayscale Launches New Investment Product While Bitcoin Trust Crashes to 35%

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Grayscale Launches New Investment Product While Bitcoin Trust Crashes to 35%

Grayscale Investments is offering investors an opportunity to invest in Bitcoin mining hardware in the bear market.

The new investment opportunity, called the Grayscale Digital Infrastructure Opportunities LLC (GDIO), is now open to qualified individual and institutional investors, even as the asset manager allows ETF-related court proceedings to run their course.

Grayscale putting capital to work

Grayscale will use investor capital from the GDIO to buy mining hardware for a minimum of three years. It will use the hardware to mine and subsequently sell bitcoin. Mining is the energy-intensive process undertaken by a computer network to create a new transaction block and verify it. The node in the network that creates the block is known as a miner. A miner is rewarded in bitcoin for his effort, which typically requires large amounts of cheap electricity and computing power.

Part of the proceeds Grayscale will earn from its efforts will be paid out quarterly to GDIO investors.

“Grayscale’s unique position at the center of the crypto ecosystem enables us to create offerings that allow investors to put capital to work through differing market cycles,” stated Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s chief executive.

GDIO represents another way the company has sought to provide investors with exposure to bitcoin without directly holding the asset.

Investors can also purchase shares from its GBTC trust and gain exposure to bitcoin through Grayscale’s legally regulated business in the U.S.

But Grayscale has a problem. Because investors cannot redeem shares in the trust for bitcoin, the price per share has dropped drastically, trading at a discount of 35% to its Net Asset Value. 

At the close of the trading day on Oct. 5, shares were trading at a shade over $12, despite being backed by $18.45 worth of bitcoin.

To mitigate this discount, Grayscale has pursued the conversion of GBTC into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which has so far been unsuccessful. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission denied the company’s latest application in June 2022, prompting Grayscale to pursue legal action against the federal agency. 

Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage public blockchain startups, said that Grayscale could wind down the ETF:

watching the GBTC discount. looks like ATL at -35%. on top of discounted spot BTC. paths to breaking open the piggy bank: SEC can approve ETF conversion, or Grayscale can wind down the trust themselves if they so choose.

— nic carter (@nic__carter) June 17, 2022

The SEC maintains that spot bitcoin ETFs are prone to underlying market manipulation.

Grayscale undeterred by SEC rejection

Despite consistent resistance from U.S. regulators, Grayscale launched its first European ETF in May 2022, which tracks the Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index, offering customers exposure to institutions at the crossroads of finance, technology, and cryptocurrencies.

Grayscale raised investors’ eyebrows recently when it announced that it had applied with the SEC to distribute 3 million ETHPoW tokens that were distributed to all Ethereum (ETH) holders after the controversial proof-of-work fork went live. 

At the time, Grayscale said it was seeking the rights to sell the tokens and pay out shareholders. 

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Colorado is accepting crypto for tax payments — it could be a mess or a shining example

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Colorado is accepting crypto for tax payments —  it could be a mess or a shining example

Colorado is now accepting crypto for tax payments — but if you choose to use that option, it could change the amount you owe…
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BNB Chain confirms BSC halt due to ‘potential exploit’

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BNB Chain confirms BSC halt due to ‘potential exploit’

Rumors of a significant hack on the BNB Chain were confirmed by the blockchain’s team, with all deposits and withdrawals suspended on the network…
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