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Australia to test CBDC potential

Monday 26 September 2022 12:23 CET | News

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced plans to identify business models and uses for a central bank digital currency, or eAUD, and is likely to conduct a pilot early in 2023.

 

The project, which began in July 2022, will help understanding of some of the technological, legal, and regulatory considerations associated with a CBDC, the RBA and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre said in a White Paper . The findings will be published at the conclusion of the project in around mid-2023. However, the research implies no commitment from the RBA to issue a CBDC.

The RBA is seeking submissions from industry participants ranging from financial institutions, fintechs, public sector agencies and technology providers. It is also engaging with regulators to work through any regulatory implications. 

All proposals will be used to inform assessments of the rationale for an eAUD, the White Paper added. A limited number will also be selected for operation within the CBDC pilot project infrastructure. Pilot participants will bear their own costs for the conception, design, development, implementation, and piloting, if selected.

CBDC around the world

Central banks worldwide are acting swiftly to ensure they don’t fall behind as money edges toward a reinvention with alternative concepts like cryptocurrencies taking hold. That new technology, as well as events like the coronavirus pandemic, are among forces pushing consumers to go cashless.

Most recently, one of the most innovative countries of Africa, Nigeria, is pushing towards creating a local digital currency, that they call eNaira . The currency is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira. eNaira serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering a wider variety of payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payments.

 

US-based CPaaS innovator Clickatell partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to deliver eNaira banking services to Nigerians using the USSD channel. Introducing the USSD short code allows non-banked Nigerians, many of whom do not have smartphones, to access cashless banking services.

In Asia, India is considering testing a CBDC idea . The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has consulted with public sector banks and fintechs such as FIS to test out a central bank digital currency. However, this comes from a different perspective, as the government aims to slow the growth of private cryptocurrencies in India or eliminate them from the market altogether.

Australia pushing for the future

Along with its intentions of testing a CBDC, Australia has also invested heavily in cybersecurity . The country unveiled its 2022-23 federal budget, showing a strong commitment to cybersecurity, in which it plans to invest AUD 6.8 billion. 

The budget will be allocated and spent by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) over the next 10 years through a new program called Resilience, Effects, Defense, Space, Intelligence, Cyber and Enablers (REDSPICE).

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Keywords: CBDC, central bank, digital currency, cryptocurrency, digital assets
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: Reserve Bank of Australia
Countries: Australia
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DeFi & Crypto & Web3

Reserve Bank of Australia

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