• The UAE is planning to launch its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Digital Dirham, by mid-2024.
• The first phase of the project will be completed in 12-15 months and includes three major pillars.
• G42 Cloud and R3 are the infrastructure and technology providers for the CBDC initiative.
UAE Unveils CBDC Strategy
The United Arab Emirates has announced its plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the Digital Dirham, by mid-2024. The first phase of this project is expected to take 12-15 months to complete, with three major pillars supporting it. G42 Cloud and R3 have been chosen as the infrastructure and technology providers for this initiative.
Timeframe for Completion
The CBUAE revealed that work on the proof-of-concept for both retail and wholesale versions of their CBDC will begin shortly, with completion of phase one estimated at mid-2024. This timeline allows ample time for testing and implementation of any necessary changes before launching on a large scale.
The three pillars included in the first phase of this project are: an issuance process; a distributed ledger technology platform; and a cashier system to allow users to pay digitally with their smartphones or other devices using the Digital Dirham currency. Together these components will make up a secure ecosystem that facilitates digital payments within UAE’s economy.
G42 Cloud will provide cloud services while R3 will be responsible for building out blockchain applications tied to the project’s distributed ledger technology platform. Both companies have extensive experience in their respective fields, making them well suited partners for such an ambitious undertaking like this one from UAE’s central bank.
This move towards introducing a national cryptocurrency marks an important step forward for UAE’s economy, particularly as more countries around the world look into launching their own digital currencies in response to increasing consumer demand for faster transactions and greater financial inclusion in today’s digital age.
• Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, was accused of lying and sleeping with subordinates in 2018.
• Despite attempts by Alameda Research staff to push Bankman-Fried out, figures like Oxford professor William MacAskill continued to burnish his image.
• MacAskill and others were rewarded for their defense of Bankman-Fried’s behavior as FTX succeeded in later years.
Sam Bankman-Fried Accused of Unethical Behavior
In 2018, a number of people within the Effective Altruism movement warned that Sam Bankman-Fried was a liar who had slept with multiple subordinates. Despite formal attempts by Alameda Research staff to push Bankman-Fried out at the time, figures including Oxford professor William MacAskill continued publicly burnishing the FTX founder’s image as he built one of the largest financial frauds of all time.
William MacAskill Defends Sam Bankman-Fired
Despite warnings about Bankman-Fried’s behavior, philosopher William MacAskill and other prominent figures in the EA movement chose to continue defending him publicly, even taking steps to protect his reputation. This was not just a matter of dismissed rumors and personal grudges; it involved well documented corporate processes being derailed by people whose entire careers are premised on cultivating moral action.
Alameda Research Calls Meeting Against Sam
In April 2018, four top Alameda managers called a meeting with William MacAskill and other members of the EA movement who had been defending Bankman-Fried publicly. The managers presented evidence detailing how unethical practices had been employed during their attempt to remove him from power at Alameda Research but were met with threats instead of support for their efforts.
MacAskills Rewarded For Standing By Sam
Despite these warnings and attempts to push back against Bankmann-Fired’s unethical behavior from within his own company, MacAskill and others continued supporting him throughout the years until FTX appeared to succeed in later years – rewarding them for standing alongside him despite their knowledge about his misconduct.
Conclusion: Moral Failings Reaped Rewards
The story of Sam Bankmann Fried illustrates how those willing to turn away from moral failings can be rewarded for doing so – even when they know better than anyone else what is actually going on behind closed doors. It also serves as a reminder that those looking out for our collective moral wellbeing must be willing to stand up against powerful individuals when necessary or risk turning a blind eye towards systemic corruption that could have far reaching consequences down the line if left unchecked.
• Digital asset investment product outflows reached a record weekly level, according to a report by CoinShares.
• The outflows increased for a fifth consecutive week and totaled $255 million, representing 1% of total assets under management (AUM).
• Outflows have wiped out all of the inflows from earlier this year, with outflows totaling $82 million year to date.
Crypto Fund Outflows Hit Record Weekly Level
The digital asset investment firm CoinShares reported that crypto fund outflows hit record levels in the past week. Outflows rose for a fifth consecutive week and totaled $255 million, which is 1% of total assets under management (AUM). Bitcoin was the primary focus for these outflows, with some $244 million leaving crypto funds. Although the outflows are the largest on record when expressed as an absolute dollar amount, they still lag behind May 2019’s figure of 1.9% of AUM.
Recent Uncertainty in Crypto Market
This comes as the crypto market has suffered a month of uncertainty due to events such as Silvergate collapsing and investor concerns regarding US banking sector health. These factors combined have led to all inflows from earlier this year being wiped out by current net-outflow figures totalling $82 million year to date.
CoinDesk Markets Reporter’s Take
CoinDesk Markets reporter Lyllah Ledesma holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets. She noted that while it isn’t unusual for investors to take profits after prices rise significantly over a short period — like BTC did in recent weeks — there could be other underlying factors driving these large-scale withdrawals from cryptofunds such as investors trading their positions for fiat or other cryptos or cashing in on their investments altogether.
Alex Thorn’s Insight at Consensus 2023
Head of Firmwide Research Alex Thorn will share his take on “Bitcoin and Inflation: It’s Complicated” at Consensus 2023 later this year. He is likely to give his insight into how inflation affects Bitcoin price movements and potential solutions for mitigating its effects on BTC’s performance moving forward.
The current state of crypto fund outflows paints an uncertain picture for digital asset investors moving forward despite recent gains in Bitcoin prices over the past few weeks. As more data emerges regarding underlying causes and potential solutions come into play, we may get more clarity on where the market is heading next.
• Thailand is offering a $1 billion tax break for companies issuing investment tokens.
• The government will waive corporation and sales taxes to incentivize firms to issue digital tokens.
• This follows recent regulations from the Thai financial regulator, and more recently issued crypto custody rules.
Thailand Offers $1B Tax Break for Firms Issuing Investment Tokens
Thailand has announced a new policy that will provide a tax break for companies issuing digital tokens for investment, according to a report from Reuters. The country will waive corporation and sales taxes for those firms, which could cost the government 35 billion baht ($1 billion).
Stricter Crypto Regulations
In September, Thailand’s financial regulator took steps to establish stricter crypto advertising rules, banning crypto firms from offering staking and lending services. It has also issued regulations for crypto custody. Its central bank has been involved in international projects to test central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Tax Incentive Aims To Encourage Crypto Adoption
The new tax incentive appears designed to encourage more companies to issue digital tokens as an alternative way of raising capital. By waiving the corporation and value-added taxes, the Thai government hopes that this will open up opportunities for more businesses to explore the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Regulations Differ Across Asia
Regulations surrounding cryptocurrencies vary across Asia depending on each country’s outlook on it. While Thailand is taking steps towards encouraging its use through tax incentives, other countries such as India have taken steps towards prohibiting certain cryptocurrency activities in their jurisdiction.
Overall, it’s clear that Asian countries are starting to take notice of cryptocurrencies — with some embracing it while others remain cautious about its application within their own borders. With Thailand now offering tax breaks for token issuers, it may be only a matter of time before other countries follow suit in order to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulation worldwide.
• Voyager Digital conducted a single due diligence call with Three Arrows Capital (3AC) and received a one-page net asset value statement prior to 3AC filing for bankruptcy protection.
• The document dated May 13, 2022 showed 3AC’s NAV at just under $2.4 billion and the call lasted 30 minutes to an hour.
• Other crypto firms such as Genesis Global Holdco, Celsius Network, and BlockFi also reported losses from 3AC’s bankruptcy due to loans they had made.
Voyager Digital Conducts Due Diligence on Three Arrows Capital
Court documents show that prior to Three Arrows Capital (3AC) filing for bankruptcy protection, crypto lender Voyager Digital carried out a single due diligence call with the hedge fund. During this call, Voyager received a one-page net asset value statement dated May 13th, 2022 with 3AC’s NAV at just under $2.4 billion. The length of the call is noted as either 30 minutes or an hour in the court documents.
Losses by Other Crypto Firms Due to 3AC Bankruptcy
The failure of Three Arrows Capital sparked a wave of collapses among other crypto firms who had loaned money to the hedge fund. For example, Genesis Global Holdco reported that its Asia-Pacific unit had lent 3AC $2.4 billion in cash and digital assets, Celsius Network cited loans worth $75 million, and BlockFi also said it suffered “material losses” from the bankruptcy because 3AC was one of its largest borrowers.
Voyager Digital’s Level of Due Diligence
The filings reveal that despite conducting this single due diligence call with 3AC before their bankruptcy filing, Voyager Digital did not have access to any income statements, cash flow statements or balance sheets nor did they carry out any stress testing of 3AC’s liquidity according to multiple employees involved in due diligence interviews conducted by the court documents team including Jon Brosnahan and Ryan Whooley who are respectively Chief Commercial Officer and Treasury Director at Voyager Digital.
Impact on Voyager Digital
Voyager itself filed for bankruptcy protection in July after reporting a $654 million loan to 3AC which accounted for almost 58% of its loan portfolio thus indicating how greatly affected they were by their investment in the bankrupt hedge fund.
It is clear that despite carrying out some level of due diligence before investing in Three Arrows Capital, it was not enough for Voyager Digital or other crypto firms who were left suffering large losses from their investment in this now bankrupt hedge fund.