A cross-industry consortium is being launched in the UK to reimagine and test new payment rails for the global financial system.

The Digital FMI Consortium – which stands for ‘Digital Financial Market Infrastructure’ – is the body behind Project New Era, the UK’s privately-led Digital Sterling (dSterling) pilot, set to launch in the autumn.

The group will focus on real-world testing to evaluate a future digital currency ecosystem, environment and economy that includes the coexistence of current forms of money, regulated digital assets and Central Bank Digital Currencies.

The consortium intends to use the blueprint set out by Project New Era to launch private-sector pilots in multiple jurisdictions across the world.

Members include IBM, Finastra, FinClusive, Ibanera,, Mattereum, Trust Payments and Accomplish Financial, with further members set to be announced.

“The world is undergoing a financial revolution from which there is no turning back,” said Kunal Jhanji, MD and partner at consulting partner Boston Consulting Group. 

“With the advent of DLT and blockchain technology, digital assets are ushering in a new era for money, with potentially transformative benefits for consumers, businesses, financial institutions and states. 

“The industry needs to now come together to help the lawmakers and central banks shape the design and regulatory aspects of the biggest change we will see in the payments ecosystem in our lifetimes.”

The pilot will test high-potential use-cases and provide empirical inputs to policymakers and regulators on future design considerations for CBDC development and stablecoin regulation. 

Paul Sisnett, the CEO and co-founder of ‘’, a digital currency infrastructure solution, explained why the consortium is launching its first pilot in the UK.

“The UK has a proud history of invention and innovation. When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world, he did not anticipate that his creation would profoundly and permanently change the way we live and interact to this day,” he said.

“The emergence of digital currencies represents the biggest technological revolution since then, and the final step in the full digital transformation of the global financial system. The global race for the future of money is well underway, and we couldn’t be more excited to be leading the UK’s ambition to set the pace.”

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$54m Ukraine crypto donations ‘saved lives of defending soldiers’

$54 million in crypto donations to the ‘Aid for Ukraine’ campaign saved the lives of soldiers defending the country against invasion by Russia.

The initiative transfers crypto into crypto exchange FTX, which converts it into fiat before it is withdrawn and transferred to the National Bank of Ukraine.

The crypto payments have funded military equipment, hardware and munitions, including $11.8 million worth of unmanned aerial vehicles to spot enemy troops; $6.9m on armoured vests; $3.8m on field rations; $5.2m on anti-war media campaigns; $5m on weapons; plus other military and medical accessories. 

“Every helmet, bulletproof vest, and night vision device save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers,” said Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.

“Thus, we must continue to support our defenders. Thanks so much to everyone from the crypto community for supporting Ukraine!”

Other campaigns which have generated millions of dollars of support include Reserve Fund of Ukraine, Come Back Alive, UkraineDAO and Unchain Fund.

Cryptocurrency shorts

The European Central Bank says the introduction of digital cash in the form of CBDCs appears to be the “only solution” for the “smooth continuation” of the current monetary system. 

Bitter Spanish football rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have filed a joint trademark application to offer services in the metaverse, including a cryptocurrency wallet, virtual gaming software and virtual merchandise.

Fractional, a protocol which allows for the collective ownership of non-fungible tokens, has raised $20m led by Paradigm and is rebranding as Tessera.

The Ethereum Foundation says that the upcoming Merge upgrade – which will move the platform from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake validation – will not reduce gas fees for users. It will reduce the network’s energy consumption by an estimated 99.5%.

Michael Moro, the CEO of lender Genesis Trading since 2016, is stepping down from the position.

Blockchain VC Shima Capital has launched a $200m Web3 fund to back startups in decentralised social media, DAOs, DeFi, metaverse, zero-knowledge proofs and layer-1 solutions.

Colombia is considering the introduction of a central bank digital currency to facilitate transactions and reduce tax evasion.

The Solana blockchain has seen a 33% drop in the number of NFT mints on the platform in the last two months, according to data from

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Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 20,600 coins is at $1.12 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 3.8% decrease in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – lost 4% to $23,450. BTC is 5% down on a week ago.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – fell 5% to $1,850. ETH is 2% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token shed 5% to $308, leaving it 7% down over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, dropped 7% to 54 cents and is 1% down in a week.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP fell 3% to 37.6c, with its price 2% down on seven days ago.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token dropped 8% to $40.95 and is 8% lower than its price a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE plummeted 7% to 8.2c but is 13% up over seven days.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, lost 8% to $8.46 and is 11% down on its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token fell 8% to $25.94 and is 13% down in a week.

Polygon aims to securely connect blockchains as a sort of decentralised internet. Its MATIC token dropped 7% to 89c, while it is 6% down in a week.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.