41% of Surveyed Crypto Investors are Newbies
41% of Surveyed Crypto Investors are Newbies 101
Source: AdobeStock/Pormezz

As many as 41.4% of cryptocurrency investors are crypto newbies, and 60% of them declare they have invested between USD 2,500 and USD 5,000 in crypto, according to the results of a recent survey by alternative investment firm Invictus Capital.

“Today’s investor resembles a 35-year-old German engineer named Günther. He derives his crypto investing information from YouTube, because he values learning how to generate high returns on his investment more than the idealism of cutting out the middleman,” the company said in the survey’s summary.

They are referring to the finding that the country with the highest percentage of surveyed alternative investors was Germany, at 14.1%, followed by the US and Spain, with 7.7% and 6.8%, respectively. The UK and Turkey were ranked fourth, both at 4.8%.

Furthermore, the survey indicates crypto investing is dominated by those aged 31-45, with 41.8%, while respondents aged 25 and below represent 25.1% of the total. Investors aged 25 to 30 hold a 22.9% share, while those aged 45 and above represent only 10.2% of the total.

The survey collected answers from some 3,473 respondents spread across a total of 60 countries. Ofir Sever, a PR spokesperson for Invictus Capital, told Cryptonews.com that the survey’s focus was to determine the modern investor profile, media consumption habits, crypto investing sources, as well as investing habits. The survey was carried out online last February and March, and it targeted investors.

Data was sourced from respondents with access to high-speed Internet, with a significant share of responses from the European Union’s member states and Asian countries, according to the spokesperson. Mobile users provided 94% of the responses, with desktop and tablet users generating a further 5.5% and 0.5%, respectively.

The average sum invested in crypto is reported to be USD 2,500 – USD 5,000, with 60% of those surveyed marking this option. 40% also reported investing USD 100 – USD 2,500, while more than 30% of the respondents have also made investments under USD 100.

With regards to the respondents’ professional profiles, engineers lead the way, at 12.5%, followed by tradesmen and lawyers, both at 9.6%, and finance professionals with 8.6%. Among the listed professions, IT is at the bottom of the list, with 1.6%.

The survey’s summary further stated that:

  • 68% said high returns remain a motivation;
  • 54% see crypto investing as a method to future proof their money;
  • 25% invest to mitigate dealing with middle men;
  • 50% noted high fees on exchanges, quality, and volume on exchanges as the biggest challenges they faced.

And speaking of exchanges, 69% of surveyed investors listed Binance as their exchange of choice, followed by Coinbase with 42.6%, and Kraken with 13%.

74% of the surveyed individuals chose YouTube as their preferred social channel.

Meanwhile, almost 40% percent of respondents said that they invest on a weekly basis, 34.3% said they invest monthly, and 7.7% said they invest once a year, Invictus Capital concluded.

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Learn more:

9% of Surveyed US Teens Claim to Have Traded in Crypto

50% of Inexperienced Investors to Hold Bitcoin Less Than a Year – Survey

18% of Asked Americans Bought Crypto, Most Know Only Bitcoin – Survey

Young Investors Drive Increased Aussie Bitcoin & Crypto Investments

Investors Still Prefer Stocks To Bitcoin, But BTC Wins Over Gold – Survey

More Professionals Trust Crypto Than Want To Get Paid In It – Survey

Crypto is Here to Stay, But There is a Twist, Survey Shows

SnackMagic picks up $15M to expand from build-your-own snack boxes into a wider gifting marketplace

The office shut-down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year spurred huge investment in digital transformation and a wave of tech companies helping with that, but there were some distinct losers in the shift, too — specifically those whose business models were predicated on serving the very offices that disappeared overnight. Today, one of the companies that had to make an immediate pivot to keep itself afloat is announcing a round of funding, after finding itself not just growing at a clip, but making a profit, as well.

SnackMagic, a build-your-own snack box service, has raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding led by Craft Ventures, with Luxor Capital also participating.

(Both investors have an interesting track record in the food-on-demand space: Most recently, Luxor co-led a $528 million round in Glovo in Spain, while Craft backs/has backed the likes of Cloud Kitchens, Postmates and many more).

The funding comes on the back of a strong year for the company, which hit a $20 million revenue run rate in eight months and turned profitable in December 2020.

Founder and CEO Shaunak Amin said in an interview that the plan will be to use the funding both to continue growing SnackMagic’s existing business, as well as extend into other kinds of gifting categories. Currently, you can ship snacks anywhere in the world, but the customizable boxes — recipients are gifted an amount that they can spend, and they choose what they want in the box themselves from SnackMagic’s menu, or one that a business has created and branded as a subset of that — are only available in locations in North America, serviced by SnackMagic’s primary warehouse. Other locations are given options of pre-packed boxes of snacks right now, but the plan is to slowly extend its pick-and-mix model to more geographies, starting with the U.K.

Alongside this, the company plans to continue widening the categories of items that people can gift each other beyond chocolates, chips, hot sauces and other fun food items, into areas like alcohol, meal kits, and non-food items. There’s also scope for expanding to more use cases into areas like corporate gifting, marketing and consumer services, and analytics coming out of its sales.

Amin calls the data that SnackMagic is amassing about customer interest in different brands and products “the hidden gem” of the platform.

“It’s one of the most interesting things,” he said. Brands that want to add their items to the wider pool of products — which today numbers between 700 and 800 items — also get access to a dashboard where they monitor what’s selling, how much stock is left of their own items, and so on. “One thing that is very opaque [in the CPG world] is good data.”

For many of the bigger companies that lack their own direct sales channels, it’s a significantly richer data set than what they typically get from selling items in the average brick and mortar store, or from a bigger online retailer like Amazon. “All these bigger brands like Pepsi and Kellogg not only want to know this about their own products more but also about the brands they are trying to buy,” Amin said. Several of them, he added, have approached his company to partner and invest, so I guess we should watch this space.

SnackMagic’s success comes from a somewhat unintended, unlikely beginning, and it’s a testament to the power of compelling, yet extensible technology that can be scaled and repurposed if necessary. In its case, there is personalization technology, logistics management, product inventory and accounting, and lots of data analytics involved.

The company started out as Stadium, a lunch delivery service in New York City that was leveraging the fact that when co-workers ordered lunch or dinner together for the office — say around a team-building event or a late-night working session, or just for a regular work day — oftentimes they found that people all hankered for different things to eat.

In many cases, people typically make separate orders for the different items, but that also means if you are ordering to all eat together, things would not arrive at the same time; if it’s being expensed, it’s more complicated on that front too; and if you’re thinking about carbon footprints, it might also mean a lot less efficiency on that front too.

Stadium’s solution was a platform that provided access to multiple restaurants’ menus, and people could pick from all of them for a single order. The business had been operating for six years and was really starting to take off.

“We were quite well known in the city, and we had plans to expand, and we were on track for March 2020 being our best month ever,” Amin said. Then, Covid-19 hit. “There was no one left in the office,” he said. Revenue disappeared overnight, since the idea of delivering many items to one place instantly stopped being a need.

Amin said that they took a look at the platform they had built to pick many options (and many different costs, and the accounting that came with that) and thought about how to use that for a different end. It turned out that even with people working remotely, companies wanted to give props to their workers, either just to say hello and thanks, or around a specific team event, in the form of food and treats — all the more so since the supply of snacks you typically come across in so many office canteens and kitchens were no longer there for workers to tap.

It’s interesting, but perhaps also unsurprising, that one of the by-products of our new way of working has been the rise of more services that cater (no pun intended) to people working in more decentralised ways, and that companies exploring how to improve rewarding people in those environments are also seeing a bump.

Just yesterday, we wrote about a company called Alyce raising $30 million for its corporate gifting platform that is also based on personalization — using AI to help understand the interests of the recipient to make better choices of items that a person might want to receive.

Alyce is taking a somewhat different approach to SnackMagic: it’s not holding any products itself, and there is no warehouse but rather a platform that links up buyers with those providing products. And Alyce’s initial audience is different, too: instead of internal employees (the first, but not final, focus for SnackMagic) it is targeting corporate gifting, or presents that sales and marketing people might send to prospects or current clients as a please and thank you gesture.

But you can also see how and where the two might meet in the middle — and compete not just with each other, but the many other online retailers, Amazon and otherwise, plus the consumer goods companies themselves looking for ways of diversifying business by extending beyond the B2C channel.

“We don’t worry about Amazon. We just get better,” Amin said when I asked him about whether he worried that SnackMagic was too easy to replicate. “It might be tough anyway,” he added, since “others might have the snacks but picking and packing and doing individual customization is very different from regular e-commerce. It’s really more like scalable gifting.”

Investors are impressed with the quick turnaround and identification of a market opportunity, and how it quickly retooled its tech to make it fit for purpose.

“SnackMagic’s immediate success was due to an excellent combination of timing, innovative thinking and world-class execution,” said Bryan Rosenblatt, principal investor at Craft Ventures, in a statement. “As companies embrace the future of a flexible workplace, SnackMagic is not just a snack box delivery platform but a company culture builder.”

The incoming SEC chairman Gary Gensler clearly stated that both Ethereum and XRP were non-compliant securities

In a recent seminar with Court Judge Sarah Netburn, Dugan Bliss, a senior adjudicator at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, argued that the agency has not yet made a formal position on the regulatory status of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin looks more certain, however, the status of ETH is being disputed as is the case with XRP.

Ethereum could still be classified as a security

Bliss stated:

“So I want to make clear that this is my understanding of the current situation and I don’t want to be overly technical, but the SEC, itself, my understanding, it has not taken an official position. There is no action that it took to say Bitcoin is not a security, Ether is not a security.”

While former SEC chairman Jay Clayton has repeatedly stated that Bitcoin is not a security, there is less regulatory certainty over Ethereum.

Bill Hinman, former head of the SEC’s Corporate Finance Division, issued a statement of approval on the sale of Ether and non-securities offers just months before the end of his term in 2018.

Bliss stated that Hinman’s speech does not necessarily reflect the regulator’s stance on Ethereum:

“Now, there was a speech by a high-ranking person who said that to him that’s what it looked like but there has been no action letter, no enforcement action, none of the official ways in which the SEC takes a position on that matter that has occurred.”

However, the upcoming SEC chairman Gary Gensler has made it clear that both Ether and XRP are non-compliant securities in an interview with the New York Times:

“There is a strong case for both of them — but particularly Ripple — that they are non-compliant securities.”

Notably, Gensler confirmed that he sees Bitcoin as a commodity during his recent congressional hearing:

“So I think at the SEC it’s really to the extent somebody is offering an investment contract and security that’s under the SEC’s remit and exchanges that operate there. […] If not, it’s a commodity as Bitcoin has been deemed.”

Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum pre-mined a significant portion of the money prior to holding the initial coin offering (ICO).

Hong Kong-based app-maker Meitu bought another 175 BTC to reach the $100 million in its Cryptocurrency Investment Plan
hong-kong-based-app-maker-meitu-bought-another-100-million-in-btc-and-eth-to-its-treasury

According to the announcement today, the beauty application Meitu purchased another 175 BTC to reach the $100 million mark it set for itself in its Cryptocurrency Investment Plan.

Meitu buys another $10 million in Bitcoin

Therefore, the goal to invest $100 million in the cryptocurrency of Meitu has been achieved. The plan called for Meitu to add $100 million in BTC and ETH to its treasury, both as an investment and preparation for future initiatives. Meitu intends to use some of the ETH to launch decentralized apps in the future.

The publicly traded firm first acquired $40 million in BTC and ETH in early March of this year, when it unveiled its intention to make further purchases. A week later, it purchased another $49 million. Today’s announcement is the final $10 million of the acquisition.

In total, Meitu holds 31,000 ETH (valued at $50.5 million) and 940 BTC (valued at $49.5 million).

Coinbase disclosed in late March that its institutional business facilitated the past purchases, a service it has provided for other public companies such as Tesla. It’s unclear if the latest purchases were also handled by Coinbase.

Meitu is one of the first China-based publicly listed companies to add crypto to their treasury. Other tech firms like Square, Tesla, and MicroStrategy made headlines in the past year for making similar acquisitions.

[Bitstamp] Sameer Dubey joins Bitstamp as Chief Operating Officer

We’re excited to be welcoming another trusted leader from the world of finance to Bitstamp. Sameer Dubey has joined our team as our new Chief Operating Officer.

Sameer brings global leadership in fintech and traditional banking to Bitstamp, where he is taking charge of expanding our operational capabilities as we scale across our global businesses. He is joining us following stints with leading banks such as N26 and Barclays Bank.

At the German neobank N26, Sameer served as the Head of Operations for UK. Prior to N26, he spent over a decade in executive roles at Barclays on their Payments and Cash Management Product team. At Barclays, he also helped the major UK bank take its early steps into the world of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. We recently sat down with Sameer to ask him a few questions about why he chose Bitstamp and how he sees the journey forward.

You’ve built an impressive career at both traditional institutions and neobanks. What convinced you to shift your focus to crypto?

I’ve been engaged with the world of crypto for quite a while. At Barclays, I was one of the founding members of what we called the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Council, and from that point, I started to see that, in the world of finance, this is probably the most fundamental shift that’s happened for hundreds of years. I saw myself playing a part in this world, so it was more a question of “when” than “if”. I was also familiar with Bitstamp, having been a customer for about four years. So, when the opportunity arose, I knew it would be a good fit.

How do you see the cryptocurrency industry evolving over the next few years?

I think that in a few years, we won’t really be talking about a cryptocurrency industry anymore. It will be another part of finance and innovative crypto businesses will be considered fintechs similarly to how N26 is perceived today. A lot of the groundwork for crypto to fully integrate into finance has already been laid in terms of the market infrastructure and the regulatory frameworks. Now, the trust from traditional players is starting to build up and cryptocurrencies, both as investable assets and as technological innovations, are getting a chance to prove what they can do on the biggest stage.

What part do you see Bitstamp playing in crypto’s evolution?

Bitstamp, from its inception, has been a cornerstone of the crypto industry – I expect us to continue playing that role. Additionally, as crypto merges with finance, the part we play is going to take on new meaning. Part of what makes this space so exciting is that we really can’t know where we’ll be in, let’s say, 10 years. From my perspective right now, I see Bitstamp continuing to provide best-in-class exchange services based on excellent trading technology and outstanding operations. We’re certainly going to build out that core with new assets and trading options, alongside launching brand new services like staking to build out a wider platform. The expertise we’re bringing in now, with leaders joining Bitstamp from various sectors of finance, will be essential on that journey and I’m excited about exploring the future with this team.

At Bitstamp, we’re continuing to bring in top talent and ramp up our global presence. To join Sameer and the rest of our team across Europe, US and Asia, visit our careers page .

Buying Opportunity? Investors Sentiment for Bitcoin and Ethereum Turns Short-Term Bearish

The recent adverse price developments for the top two cryptocurrencies by market cap have caused a mood swing among investors. Data shows that the crowd sentiment towards Bitcoin and Ethereum has dropped to extreme negativity as both assets slumped by about 10% in a few days.

Sentiment Towards BTC and ETH to New Lows

Bitcoin and Ethereum went through steep retracements in the past several days. The primary cryptocurrency failed to overcome $60,000 despite initiating several attempts, and the subsequent rejections drove it to a ten-day low of $55,500 yesterday.

ETH’s price performance seemed significantly more bullish. The second-largest digital asset reached a new ATH two days ago at $2,150. However, it also retraced heavily by losing more than $200 in the following 48 hours to a low of $1,940.

Despite recovering some ground since then, these developments have caused a massive mood swing among cryptocurrency investors. Data provided by the analytics company Santiment indicated that the general sentiment toward the two assets has “dropped to extreme negative territory.”

History shows that similar rapid mood changes could actually indicate a short-term market top or bottom. The graph above demonstrates that when the general sentiment was exceptionally high after price increases, as it happened in late January and mid-February, the trend reversed somewhat immediately.

Consequently, Santiment has classified the current negative state as a “bullish opportunity” for buyers.

Fear and Greed Says It’s Not That Bad

The Fear and Greed Index is another metric that could provide the investors’ sentiment towards the cryptocurrency field. It calculates various types of data, including surveys, social media, volatility, and volume, to determine whether the general mood is positive or negative towards Bitcoin.

The final results range between 0 (extreme fear) and 100 (extreme greed). Somewhat expectedly, the index was well in the extreme greed phase in the past few months, as BTC more than doubled its value since January 1st.

With BTC stuck beneath the $60,000 line, the index declined slightly, but it has still remained above 50 – meaning that it’s still in greed territory. This attests that the cryptocurrency space is prone to quick mood changes, which goes hand in hand with the highly volatile nature of all assets.

It’s worth noting that while prices have retraced slightly lately, BTC’s fundamentals have become even more robust. As reported earlier, Bitcoin’s network continues to increase its security as the hash rate marked yet another all-time high record.

CEX.IO Launches Crypto Savings Account Service With up to 20% APY

CEX.IO, a leading international cryptocurrency exchange, launches its Savings service as the newest solution in the fast-growing Earn ecosystem. Available in 171 countries, CEX.IO Savings offers users up to 20% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on 19 different digital assets with the flexibility to move funds in and out of their accounts without any restrictions.

Similarly to savings accounts in the traditional finance industry, CEX.IO Savings offers users a way to generate a passive return on the digital assets they hold. However, unlike a savings account, the international exchange’s Savings product allows customers to add capital or withdraw their funds at any time without fees, expiration dates, or the requirement to lock their holdings for extended periods.

Currently, CEX.IO Savings users can earn interest between 2% and 20% APY on 19 different cryptocurrencies, including multiple stablecoins and DeFi tokens. However, the company is soon expanding its list of supported digital assets.

Users can earn interest in their cryptocurrencies in two ways within CEX.IO Savings. While Flexible Savings provides customers access to their funds any time they need, Locked Savings is for those who are planning to hold their digital assets for a longer time period. While users have to lock their assets until the expiration date, they can utilize this savings type to achieve higher returns with fixed interest rates. On the other hand, the APY for Flexible Savings is fixed on a daily basis. It is reviewed every 24 hours and will respond to the market conditions based on supply and demand.

CEX.IO launched its Savings service as part of the greater Earn ecosystem, which is centered around crypto users seeking to generate an extra income on their digital asset holdings. As the first solution in the Earn suite, CEX.IO launched Staking in 2020, a service that allows customers to earn rewards for locking up their tokens and maintaining the blockchain networks of cryptocurrency projects utilizing the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. One of the USPs of CEX.IO Staking is that CEX.IO takes on all the complexities of staking node management and technical integrations.

This allows CEX.IO Staking to guarantee fast capital withdrawals for our users to the extent that users can even place limit orders on our exchange with the assets they staked. This unique feature allows our users to keep generating a passive return on their staked asset while waiting for the price to increase up to the level when they would like to exit from their position.

Founded in 2013, CEX.IO is an international cryptocurrency exchange that offers a wide range of digital asset solutions to over 4 million customers. With a fast-growing ecosystem of innovative products, the London-based company serves all participants of the cryptocurrency market – from retail traders to institutional investors. With a robust, enterprise-grade service, CEX.IO’s multi-functional digital asset solutions feature cutting-edge security while being regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including the United States, Gibraltar, and Cyprus.

In July 2020 and February 2021, CryptoCompare ranked CEX.IO among the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide in its Exchange Benchmark Rating. In both reports, the London-based company secured an A grade as well as the third spot in terms of security.

“The way the crypto market was developing in 2020 and 2021 provided digital asset holders a good deal of new options to earn. Staking, lending, and yield farming – to name a few. During the times we have spent in the DeFi sector, we noticed a demand among our users to earn passive income while holding crypto assets. For that reason, we decided to launch CEX.IO Earn, a new service within CEX.IO ecosystem allowing crypto owners to profit by contributing to the blockchain industry. After rolling out Staking and seeing the hugely positive market response, we are now launching Savings. With our new product, customers can earn interest after the coins they contributed on the platform while having the flexibility to withdraw their funds or increase their holdings to achieve better returns at any time,” Konstantin Anissimov, Executive Director at CEX.IO, stated.

Prepare Your Crypto Startups as Binance is Shopping
Prepare Your Crypto Startups as Binance is Shopping 101
Source: a screenshot, Instagram/binance

Major crypto exchange Binance plans to do about three acquisitions every month, according to CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ).

Binance is “actively doing acquisition deals, especially in a lot of these new areas. My view is I’m not an expert in these areas, and it’s better for us to find strong teams that are already doing this well,” he told Bloomberg.

And the future, per the CEO, holds quite a few of these deals as well. CZ said that,

“We plan to do somewhere between 20 and 30 acquisitions a year. Most are smaller acquisitions—we don’t announce them. Some will be bigger ones like CoinMarketCap, but we do plan to do about 30 acquisitions each year, which probably means about three deals every month now.”

The CEO did not elaborate on potential acquisition targets.

As reported, responding to speculations in South Korean media that Binance might be among potential buyers of the Bithumb exchange, Binance said that they are “always open to considering strategic partnerships and investments at any given time.”

Meanwhile, in their recent M&A report, major consultancy company PwCsaid they expect to see further consolidation in the industry with some of the larger, well-funded, or profitable firms continuing their M&A activities.

“We expect the focus to be not on the acquisition of smaller competitors but rather of firms that offer ancillary services to their current offering (e.g. crypto media, data, compliance, research),” they added.

On multiple occasions, Binance stressed that they’re building “the infrastructure for the blockchain ecosystem.” They control both custodian and non-custodian crypto exchanges, develop Binance Smart Chain, own a token launch platform, have their own investment arm, an incubator for blockchain projects, provide digital asset research services, have their own crypto wallet, operate a charity foundation, and recently introduced a crypto pay service.

Also, in the interview, CZ went on to discuss some other potential plans. Unlike its competitor Coinbase, which has filed for a direct listing, Binance is “right now […] not looking at an IPO.” The CEO said that the company is cash-sufficient and able to grow itself, adding: “We don’t need a huge amount of money, we are profitable, and we are growing.”

On the other hand, as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage now, Binance “may look at doing something there,” said the CEO.

Besides that, they plan to add more fiat channels, saying that the exchange added about 50 different channels worldwide last year, and that they could “probably add another 30 or 50 more this year.”

As for financial metrics related to the company in terms of growth, CZ claimed that they don’t have “a lot of specific numbers.” The numbers change quickly based on bitcoin (BTC) price, he said, adding that, as the company is lowering fees across various places, it’s too early in the year to estimate the revenue. But the volumes “have grown quite a bit” in the first two months of this year, the CEO said.

In December 2020, he said that the company expects to have profits of USD 800m to USD 1bn in 2020, up from about USD 570m in 2019.

Also, Binance is making a number of “fairly large expansions” in different areas, including the Binance Card – which is actually losing money, he said. This is fine though, he argued, “because we want to get that product out.”

As to whether Binance would eventually becoming a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), the CEO said “it’s possible, but it’s going to take a number of years.”

In the meantime, as reported, Binance is being investigated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission over concerns that it allowed Americans to place wagers that violated US rules.

Swedish Central Bank Wants ‘Market Actors’ to Join Next Stage of CBDC Pilot
Swedish Central Bank Wants ‘Market Actors’ to Join Next Stage of CBDC Pilot 101
Source: Adobe/romaset

Sweden’s central Riksbank is forging ahead with its e-krona pilot project, and has outlined the next steps it wants to take – putting it on track to become the first European nation to roll out a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Riksbank has been bullish about issuance, but will still have to convince politicians in the country to grant it the legal powers to proceed with its plans. However, in a new “phase one” report from the bank, described by Bloomberg as “essentially the most advanced exploration of a post-cash era to be undertaken by a major, western economy,” the Riksbank spoke of how it was making use of R3’s Corda blockchain platform and distributed ledger technology innovations.

Now the Riksbank says it will spend at least another year exploring technical solutions after extending its existing contract with Accenture.

During that time, it will seek to do the following:

  • Involve “market actors” – presumably private sector firms and commercial banks – which will be invited to take part to see if their internal systems can be successfully integrated with the prototype CBDC
  • Develop offline functionality, a feature already being built into the Chinese digital yuan, and a key point for accessibility
  • Develop more storage solutions, which could involve third-party CBDC wallet providers, such as commercial banks
  • Develop a more efficient payments infrastructure and integrate with existing point of sale (PoS) terminals
  • Boost performance and scalability
  • Evaluate and analyze its CBDC’s performance and network infrastructure progress, a step that will involve the “division of responsibility among participants”

Bloomberg quoted Mithra Sundberg, the head of the Riksbank unit charged with conducting the pilot, as stating that the bank has “looked at the technical possibilities of being able to charge interest,” although possible “monetary policy ramifications” have not yet been examined.

The Riksbank CBDC model is a two-tier approach whereby it would issue, redeem and destroy tokens as it sees fit, with intermediaries (namely commercial banks and payments providers) distributing the CBDC to both businesses and individuals.

The report’s authors appeared to be aware of the potentially thorny user data-related issues likely to lie ahead. Critics of CBDCs in other countries say they are worried too much of their spending anonymity will be compromised by such projects.

The authors wrote,

“The Riksbank is currently analyzing to what extent the information stored in the transaction history can be regarded as information covered by banking secrecy and whether it comprises personal data.”