By Eduardo Salazar

Great atmosphere build-up before the start of today’s seminar on blockchain applications, organised by the Center for Innovative Finance (CIF) at the University of Basel.

A very promising afternoon indeed, having a quite varied panel of presenters. My thanks to Fabian Schar (MD of Basel’s CIF) and to Aleks Berentsen (Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, also here in Basel) for the invitation.

For those who want to know more about the CIF mission and activities, simply go to https://cif.unibas.ch/en/home/


Obverse of $100 note, 2009 series

By Eduardo Salazar

One of the themes that keeps coming up when people speak about money is about its “intrinsic value” and, as a corollary, about why would anyone have those nicely designed paper notes in their wallets.

Take, for example, the recent entry by Christine Smith in the St. Louis Fed Open Vault blog about Bitcoin (and “digital currencies” [1] in more general terms; see https://bit.ly/2FpqUtJ). It’s a summary intended for the wider public (the target audience of the St. Louis Fed blog) of some key points brought by Aleksander Berensten and Fabian Shar in a paper published by…


By Eduardo Salazar

Only yesterday (April 24) Bill Bambough contributed a piece for Forbes discussing a thought-provocative paper by Aleks Berentsen and Fabian Schar, originally published in the St. Louis Fed Economic Review (second quarter 2018; hyperlink provided in citation below).

Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schar, “The Case for Central Bank Electronic Money and the Non-case for Central Bank Cryptocurrencies,” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, Second Quarter 2018, pp. 97–106.

For the time being I wish to draw my attention to Figure 1 in this paper, and based on it offer some “adjustments” to make it more “realistic,”…


By Eduardo Salazar

On April 10, Barclays Research published its 2018 Equity Gilt Study, this year focusing on the economic implications of technology. Predictably, “crypto-technology” [a] became part of the analysis, and Barclays position on the subject could be best defined as lukewarm. Marvin Barth, Head of FX & EM Macro Strategy at the bank’s Investment Unit, talked about crypto-technologies as “interesting” and “innovative” but equally argued they are “a solution still seeking a problem.”

In support of such assessment, Barclays’ report enumerated four challenges that crypto technologies need to overcome, one of them being “acceptance and trust.” [b]

A…


We’re pleased to announce the launch of Part 1 of our two part White Paper under the title “On Cryptocurrency: A Position Paper” by Eduardo Salazar, our CEO.

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of virtual currencies, placing a particular focus on the so-called cryptocurrencies: actors, their underlying motivations, emergence, recent developments and prevailing trends, done against the backdrop of economic theory, history, sociology and economic anthropology as they have been repeatedly (and competitively) applied to explain the genesis and logic of money. That is our framework. The aim is to properly characterise cryptocurrencies and to answer, through the analysis…

Forctis AG

We create a new Blockchain technology for mass adoption and financial inclusion. Because stability is in our DNA

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