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For all the key details of new blockchain projects in the banking world, real-world asset (RWA) tokenization, and central bank digital currency (CBDC) updates, the Observers 'Banking and CBDC Roundup' has you covered.

It's fair to say that in the two weeks since our last Banking and CBDC Roundup, not very much has happened. At least in the world of blockchain banking, CBDCs, and RWA tokenization, that is.

Over in the real world they had some kind of pseudo-religious gift-giving festival and turned over the page on a whole new orbit of the sun... which might have something to do with the lack of news about things we actually care about.

Nevertheless, we went digging a bit deeper than usual to find all the freshest stories for you. Call it a late Christmas present.

There were still leftovers from celebratory feasts waiting to be polished off when the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) put out a call for vendors of CBDC solutions. The central bank is looking for developers of off-the-shelf retail CBDC platforms to deploy in its DCash 2.0 ecosystem.

The ECCB services a number of island nations in the East Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Monserrat and Saint Lucia. It has been issuing DCash, one of the earliest CBDC projects, since 2021. The DCash project is classed as 'launched' on the CBDCTracker website, although it is referred to as a pilot in the latest call for vendors for DCash 2.0.

A Nigerian legal expert has claimed that the adoption of the country's eNaira CBDC had been hampered by the central bank's recently lifted blanket ban on providing banking services for digital assets companies. Now that the Nigerian Central Bank (NBC) has provided more details of the policy reversal, it might expect trust and adoption rates of the eNaira to increase... assuming a recently approved naira-pegged stablecoin doesn't steal its thunder.

While Nigeria is finally letting its banking industry embrace crypto clients, the European Banking Authority is to probe links between its banks and their crypto clients, according to the Financial Times. Although to be fair, this isn't limited to crypto clients, and will also look at how other non-banking financial services sectors could cause contagion in the traditional banking sector.

Staying in Europe, the Bank of Spain has chosen its partners to participate in forthcoming CBDC trials, from a shortlist of 24 applicants. The wholesale CBDC pilot will take place in the next six months, and will involve Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain. Spanish central bank is exploring CBDC separately from the EU-wide digital euro project and is more focused on the securities and tokenized deposits side of it.

The ecosystem of Adhara Blockchain solutions and services. Source:

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) has published an update on the development of the 'Rulebook' for its digital euro project. It has also issued five calls for applications from providers of components and services related to CBDC implementation, which seems to suggest things are progressing towards the next stage.

India promised to reach a target of 1 million transactions of its e-rupee per day by the end of 2023, and it has reportedly achieved this goal... sort of. The 1 million transaction target was achieved on December 27, although this is likely a one-off event and not a regular occurrence at this stage. There are also reports that the commercial banks involved in the pilot were encouraged to make employee payments using the CBDC to boost the numbers.

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das awarded 'Governor of the Year' award for 2023  by London's Central Banking | Zee Business
Royal Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das

And finally, not primarily banking related, although JPMorgan is a bank, and one whose CEO Jamie Dimon has been vocal in his criticism of cryptocurrency and bitcoin in particular. Not that the naysayer let that stop his bank from potentially making money out of bitcoin by being named an authorized participant on the pending BlackRock spot bitcoin ETF application.