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Reserve Bank of Australia seeks stakeholder views on CBDC and global stablecoins

Image: Reserve Bank of Australia

Tue, 03 Dec 2019, 12:20 pm UTC

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has published an Issues Paper as the initial stage of its upcoming Review of Retail Payments Regulation.

The paper discusses and seeks stakeholder views on several potential issues that could be covered by the review. This includes some recommendations made by the Productivity Commission and the Black Economy Taskforce in relation to interchange fees, merchant service fees and least-cost routing of dual-network debit card transactions.

Also included in the list of potential review areas are central bank digital currency (CBDC) and global stablecoins.

Noting CBDC efforts by global counterparts such as the People’s Bank of China and the Riksbank, the RBA said that it does not consider that there is currently a strong case for the issuance of a digital dollar (eAUD) or a CBDC for household purpose. However, it added that it will continue to monitor developments in this space.

“The [Payments System Board] is interested in stakeholder views on CBDC and the issues that it raises, including: whether there would be demand for such an instrument given the electronic payment services already available to households; the extent to which it might contribute to a more resilient or competitive payment system; possible effects on financial stability and financial intermediation; and the implications for the current review,” the paper reads.

The Board is also interested in determining if there are any policy issues arising from the prospective issuance of ‘global stablecoins’.

“The Bank notes that Bank staff are engaging closely with other Australian regulators and agencies on this topic, and are also participating in international groups that are examining potential regulatory and policy issues,” it added.

The RBA said that stakeholders can submit their written responses to the issues included in the paper by Jan. 31, 2020, as well as raise any other retail payments issue that they think the Board should consider as part of the review.

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