By Mat Di Salvo
2 min read
Colombia may introduce a central bank digital currency, the country’s tax agency chief said yesterday.
Luis Carlos Reyes, the director of Colombia’s tax and customs agency, DIAN, told Semana magazine Monday that the South American nation’s new government would look to create “a digital currency” that would make “transactions easier for the consumer.”
A central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a digital version of a state’s fiat currency—like the U.S. dollar or the euro—backed by a central bank.
It is the first time Colombia’s government has talked about introducing one. Colombia’s new president, Gustavo Petro, took office on August 7.
An ex-guerilla and the country’s first-ever left-wing president, Petro campaigned on a ticket to tackle corruption, improve opportunities for the country’s frustrated youth, wean the country off fossil fuels, and negotiate with paramilitary groups.
He has also shown an interest in digital assets: Petro, 62, last year said while campaigning that the country should mine Bitcoin using renewable energy—instead of producing cocaine.
But a CBDC is very different from Bitcoin. CBDCs are centralized, unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This means a central power—the government—controls them. Privacy advocates have warned that they may allow the state to snoop on citizens’ spending, as well as more easily exercise capital controls.
Countries around the world are currently at different stages of researching and releasing CBDCs. Other than small Caribbean countries, like the Bahamas, most major economies have not yet released one.
China, though, has already made its digital yuan live.
Colombia is becoming increasingly crypto-friendly: Latin America’s fourth largest economy last month released draft rules for crypto companies that want to operate in the country.
And its major banks have partnered with crypto exchanges—including Binance—in an experimental project which allows customers to buy small amounts of digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum through their largely traditional channels.
Scanning and analyzing a blockchain can be challenging, particularly when sorting through tens of thousands of blockchain addresses and millions of transactions. It's tedious and time-consuming and the story being told is often elusive. The Austin-based startup Blocktrace hopes that artificial intelligence can make the blockchain analysis process faster, and uncovering trends and anomolies easier. Launched in 2018 by software engineer Shaun MaGruder, whose background includes work as the head of...
Major League Baseball is releasing new 2023 season digital collectibles with Candy Digital, the NFT startup that’s entering its third season as an official MLB partner. Candy Digital was founded in 2021 as the NFT market surged to new heights, but faced challenges in late 2022 and at the start of this year. The firm laid off more than one-third of its approximately 100-person team in November 2021, a source confirmed to Decrypt, and then this past January, Fanatics sold its roughly 60% majority ...
When is a piece of clothing just a piece of clothing, and when is it fashion? If that question’s too perplexing, try this one: when should a piece of virtual clothing be considered virtual fashion? Since Tuesday, leaders of top physical and digital fashion houses, assembled in the metaverse, have put their best answers to that query on display at the second-annual Metaverse Fashion Week. To some of these designers, virtual fashion is defined by its unique potential to reach as many people as pos...