The Reserve Bank and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) are working together on a study to examine the potential applications of an Australian central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The project with the DFCRC will help address this gap by focusing on innovative use cases and business models that could be supported by the issuance of a CBDC. The project will also be an opportunity to further understanding of some of the technological, legal and regulatory considerations associated with a CBDC.
Central banks, notably the Reserve Bank, have conducted extensive research into the viability and potential technological design of CBDC, with a focus on the potential usage of cutting-edge technologies like distributed ledger technology. The use cases for a CBDC and the possible economic benefits of implementing one are issues that have gotten less attention to date, particularly in nations like Australia that already have quite contemporary and efficient payment and settlement systems.
The project, which is expected to take about a year to complete, will involve the development of a limited-scale CBDC pilot that will operate in a ring-fenced environment for a period of time and is intended to involve a pilot CBDC that is a real claim on the Reserve Bank. Interested industry participants will be invited to develop specific use cases that demonstrate how a CBDC could be used to provide innovative and value-added payment and settlement services to households and businesses. The Bank and the DFCRC will select a range of different use cases to participate in the pilot, based on their potential to provide insights into the possible benefits of a CBDC. A report on the findings from the project, including an assessment of the various use cases developed, will be published at the conclusion. The findings will contribute to ongoing research into the desirability and feasibility of a CBDC in Australia.
A paper will be published in the next few months that will explain the objectives and approach of the project in more detail and how industry participants will be able to engage.
The Australian Treasury is participating as a member of the steering committee for the project, as part of its joint work with the Reserve Bank on exploring the viability of a CBDC in Australia.
‘This project is an important next step in our research on CBDC. We are looking forward to engaging with a wide range of industry participants to better understand the potential benefits a CBDC could bring to Australia,’ said Michele Bullock, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank.
Dr Andreas Furche, CEO of the DFCRC, said ‘CBDC is no longer a question of technological feasibility. The key research questions now are what economic benefits a CBDC could enable, and how it could be designed to maximise those benefits.’
- To investigate CBDC use cases, the Reserve Bank and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Center
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