Digital Dollar Project to launch five CBDC pilots in the coming months

The Digital Dollar Project has committed to launching "at least" five pilot programs in the next year to test possible frameworks for a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC). A partnership with technology consultancy firm Accenture is funding the projects.

J. Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) co-founded the Digital Dollar Project just after his departure from the regulator. During his time in Washington, he was known to be crypto-friendly, and has since spent his retirement from politics in the crypto industry, accepting board positions at crypto firms and speaking out on the importance of a U.S. CBDC.

“The U.S. doesn’t need to be first to the central bank digital currency, but it does need to be a leader in setting standards for the digital future of money, which is why our pilot testing collaboration with Accenture and other partners is so critical," he said.

The Digital Dollar Project will work to identify and solve technical and functional requirements, as well as assess the remaining benefits and challenges for applications in both retail and wholesale use. It plans to gather findings on the technology as well as existing policies to present to stakeholders and policymakers. At the close of its tests, the project will release its findings to the public, with the hopes that academics and lawmakers alike will incorporate them into the discussion surrounding CBDC.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are also doing considerable research on CBDCs. The Digital Dollar Project plans for its pilots to complement the work coming out of those centers. 

The Project said it's open to pilot participants from "all relevant sectors, including commercial institutions, the innovation community, non-profit organizations and universities."