Barely a month after saying it sees no rush in launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has confirmed that it is still following closely on the developments in this space. RBA’s head of policy payments, Tony Richards, said that the monetary authority is also considering going the ‘wholesale’ way where the CDBC would be limited to particular financial institutions.
Richards spoke at a Blockchain, Crypto, and FinTech conference held at the University of Western Australia. He highlighted some of the considerations that RBA will focus on as it continues to deliberate on the CBDC proposition,
“We will be continuing to consider the case for a CBDC, including how it might be designed, the potential benefits and policy implications, and the conditions in which significant demand for a CBDC might emerge.”
While RBA’s mid-September report was skeptical about issuing a CBDC, Richards noted that a public policy case for its issuance is yet to be made. He went on to add that the bank is currently looking at the design options that it could take if it eventually launches a CBDC. Unlike Bitcoin, whose foundation is on the blockchain, Richards anticipates that an Aussie CBDC will take the form of a centralized & permissioned digital ledger.
Other consideration factors include whether to develop the CBDC as a token-based or account-based ecosystem. The RBA is also looking at the retail case as part of its ongoing research on the policy and technological effects of launching a CBDC. Richards confirmed that they would continue to follow closely what CBDC advanced jurisdictions are doing,
“If some jurisdictions do move towards full implementations of CBDC, there will be many central banks like us who will be closely watching.”
With the current CBDC developments, it appears that these digital assets may soon become part of legal backed tenders in global circulation. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) recently released a CBDC report in collaboration with seven major central banks. Russia has also issued a consultative paper on CBDCs, while Japan’s central bank is set to pilot its digital yen in 2021.
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