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Australia creates a partnership that will explore central bank digital currency

Australia is launching a project that will explore the implications of a CBDC on an Ethereum-based DLT platform.

Image by hannahflk from Pixabay

Mon, 02 Nov 2020, 08:54 am UTC

Australia is joining an increasing number of countries that are seriously considering the issuance of their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). The country’s central bank has recently formed a partnership with three firms to explore the potential use and implications of issuing its own government-backed digital currency.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced on November 2, 2020, that it has partnered with three firms on a project that will explore the potential use of a wholesale central bank digital currency, Cointelegraph reported. The central bank added that the project is part of its ongoing research on wholesale CBDC.

Two of its partners, the Commonwealth and the National Australia Bank, come from the financial sector. Meanwhile, the third partner is the blockchain firm Perpetual and ConsenSys Software.

The project will explore the development of a proof-of-concept (POC) for the “issuance of a tokenized form of CBDC.” The Australian central bank also mentioned that the project will test the possibility of using the CBDC as funding, settlement, and repayment of a tokenized syndicated loan on an Ethereum-based DLT platform. The bank is also interested in exploring the “implications of ‘atomic’ delivery-versus-payment settlement on a DLT platform.”

“With this project, we are aiming to explore the implications of a CBDC for efficiency, risk management, and innovation in wholesale financial market transactions,” RBA’s Assistant Governor (Financial System) Michele Bullock said. “While the case for the use of a CBDC in these markets remains an open question, we are pleased to be collaborating with industry partners to explore if there is a future role for a wholesale CBDC in the Australian payments system.”

The RBA said that the project will be completed by the end of 2020. The participating partners will publish a report showing their findings by the first half of 2021.

With the recent move, it appears that the Reserve Bank of Australia has changed its stance on central bank digital currency. Back in September, the RBA was reportedly skeptical of CBDC and even stated that there was no strong policy case for its issuance.

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