Reality Bites: Bitcoin’s Recent Successes and Setbacks

The month of June 2021 was an extremely eventful month for the cryptocurrency universe, with one positive development (from the standpoint of the industry) helping to offset two negative interventions from authorities, one in May and one in June.[1]  The positive development took place on 9 June, when the legislature of El Salvador, at the […]

Bitcoin Accepted Here – Should Other Emerging and Developing Countries Follow El Salvador and Make Bitcoin Legal Tender?

Central banks are increasingly taking actions that may cause harm to the economic stability of El Salvador.  In order to mitigate the negative impact from central banks, it becomes necessary to authorise the circulation of a digital currency with the supply that cannot be controlled by any central bank. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele On […]

Towards a Better Evaluation of Our Training Courses

One of the main activities of The SEACEN Centre is capacity building, so understanding the effectiveness of our training courses is of vital importance. We want to know what works and what does not and how we can improve our training material and teaching modalities to best serve the needs of our member central banks. […]

What about “Terms and Conditions”? Going Back to the Code of Hammurabi

What matters is not so much the money supply or the T-bill interest rate, but the availability of credit, and the terms at which credit is made available…. An increase in credit availability may not lead to more spending on produced goods, but increased prices for land or other fixed assets; it can go to […]

Buy Now, Cry Later? A Look Into a New Phenomenon in Digital Payments and E-Commerce

Over the last few years, the growth of ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) services has been exceptional. This niche product, finding itself conveniently at the intersection of the burgeoning digital payments and e-commerce spheres, and appealing to a new generation of spenders more comfortable with technology and less concerned about privacy than their predecessors, has […]

Bitcoin’s 2021 Bull Run: What has Changed since 2017?

In February 2021, the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed to over US$58,000 after Elon Musk’s Tesla said it had bought up US$1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency. One major Bitcoin investor said he saw the price rising to US$100,000 by the end of the year. The meteoric rise in the price of Bitcoin is more than 1,000 […]

Four Praises and a Funeral: In Defence of Short Selling

Everyone loves a good underdog story in which an unlikely hero takes on a mighty foe in the face of overwhelming odds. The recent US stock market uprising involving the mobilisation of retail investors to collectively drive up the share price of GameStop, a video-game retailer best known for its bricks and mortar stores, can […]

Wall Street Bets Vs. The Street

The big story at the moment is how a community on the Reddit subgroup WallStreetBets has managed to bring to heel multi-billion dollar hedge funds who had been shorting GameStop shares. The shares are up a staggering 1,800 per cent in 2021, getting as high as US$480 at one point and now down to US$194 […]

Programmable Money and CBDC

In 2020, one of the interesting topics being discussed in parallel to central bank digital currency (CBDC) is programmable money (PM). Like CBDC, programmable money does not appear to have a clear definition. In this post we will discuss our understanding of programmable money, its potential usefulness and possible obstacles to future use. What is […]

The Rise in Interest in CBDC

The following is the first in a series of blog posts on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The purpose of this post is a discussion of the sudden surge of interest in CBDCs. Motivations for CBDCs With the evolution of technology, digital payments have been on the rise. As technology has increasingly been leveraged to […]