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Digital Regulation
Álvaro Martín
Lead Economist
The Digital Regulation unit, led by Álvaro Martín, analyses the impact of financial regulation on the sector’s digital products, services and processes, as well as the new areas of non-financial regulation that banks will have to face in their process of digital transformation. To this end, the unit monitors the main technological and market trends in the financial sector and contributes to the debate about the creation of balanced regulatory frameworks that will ensure financial stability, consumer protection and innovation.

Latest Publications

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Towards an artificial intelligence that is both controlled and ubiquitous

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It is quite some time now since the term artificial intelligence (AI) broke free of the confines of science fiction and became part of current IT vocabulary. Indeed authorities and personalities as well-known as Leon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg frequently opine on the implications of this technology.

Available in Spanish, English

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The amazing phenomenon of ICOs

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Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, constitute a new financing method for start-ups specialising in blockchain technology. It consists in the sale to investors of a percentage of their own cryptographic tokens issued by the company, normally in exchange for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ether.

Available in Spanish, English

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Infographic Digital Economy Outlook. December 2017

By , , , , , ,

In this issue we will focus on: Digital markets: challenges for competition policy; Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) ): investment in crypto tokens: fad, madness or vision?; Towards a new digital identity: identification systems and digital environment; Fintech: implications for regulation and supervision; and Artificial Intelligence: a Policy Approach.

Available in Spanish, English

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Digital Economy Outlook. December 2017

By , , , , , ,

In this issue we will focus on: Digital markets: challenges for competition policy; Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) ): investment in crypto tokens: fad, madness or vision?; Towards a new digital identity: identification systems and digital environment; Fintech: implications for regulation and supervision; and Artificial Intelligence: a Policy Approach.

Available in Spanish, English

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Central banks-issued digital currencies: a challenge to the financial system

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Digital currencies, and more specifically, the so-called cryptocurrencies (currencies issued and administered by decentralised networks using cryptographic protocols), such as Bitcoin, first emerged almost a decade ago.

Available in Spanish, English

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Digital Economy Outlook. September 2017

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In this issue we will focus on: Banks and new digital players: is there a level playing field?; The paradox of the digital consumer: more demanding but less aware of his rights; PSD2 implementation: transposition deadline draws closer; Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC): challenging the financial system as we know it and; Financial innovation policies across the EU

Available in Spanish, English

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New financial innovation policies in Europe

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The importance of financial innovation is increasing in the eyes of the authorities and the media. This is due to the fact that new banking services that are emerging with the entry of new firms into the markets. However, it can also signal the appearance of new areas of risk, requiring closer supervision by the authorities.

Available in Spanish, English

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Digital platforms: new challenges for public authorities

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A considerable number of economic sectors, such as the content, passenger transport, retailing and short-stay industries, are undergoing a profound transformation as a result of the emergence of new companies that put providers and users of goods and services in direct contact with one another.

Available in Spanish, English

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Towards a cashless world?

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Various recent studies have explored the possibility of central banks issuing virtual currencies similar to Bitcoin to replace banknotes. Until now it has been technically impossible to create “digital cash” that is exchangeable anonymously among peers and without intermediaries, like banknotes.

Available in Spanish, English

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Digital Economy Outlook - April 2017

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In this issue we will focus on: digital platforms: economic features and policy challenges; fostering a data-driven economy in the EU; licensing Fintech companies: authorities trying a balance between fostering innovation and financial stability; behavioural biometrics, a step further in digital identification; the governance of technology in the digital world

Available in Spanish, English

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Central Bank Digital Currencies: assessing implementation possibilities and impacts

Document Number 17/04

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Following advances in the distributed ledger technology, central banks are assessing the issuance of digital currency. There's a range of possible schemes to adopt depending on which features of cash to hold: universality, anonymity and non-yield bearing. We analyze opportunities and challenges of 4 key schemes, that support a strategy of gradual testing and implementation

Available in Spanish, English

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Algorithms, key intangible assets in the finance industry

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An algorithm is a sequenced series of instructions in which certain inputs are transformed into outputs; in other words a procedure for solving problems by following precise instructions. Its uses in the financial sector are varied: from enhancing the user experience and the offer of personalised services to fast, automated decision making and operating efficiency.

Available in Spanish, English

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Digital Economy Outlook. January 2017

By , , , , ,

In this issue we will focus on: Algorithms challenge the banking industry; Does blockchain fit into current legal frameworks?; Turning the spotlight on shadow banking: pros and cons of the darkness and; The Internet of Things and digital banking

Available in Spanish, English

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Can blockchain be regulated?

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If there is one subject that is in fashion in the field of digital banking it is without doubt blockchain. Most of the world’s banks are studying the potential applications of this secure, distributed database which eliminates the need for a trusted intermediary.

Available in Spanish, English

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Blockchain in financial services: Regulatory landscape and future challenges

Document Number 16/20

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Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), including blockchains, are increasingly getting a massive interest from established industries. The interest is especially strong among financial services firms, which are starting to see DLTs as a potential driver of huge savings in infrastructure and back-office processes.

Geographies:Global

Available in English