The Reserve Bank of Australia will explore CBDC use cases with a new pilot program

Quick Take

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia announced today that its exploring CBDC use cases through a new research project. 
  • The project will feature a “limited scale” pilot program and is expected to take a year to complete. 

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced today that it's exploring Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDCs) use cases through a new research project.

The project will focus specifically on the use cases and benefits of CBDCs and distributed ledger technologies on countries like Australia, which have modern and well-functioning payment systems, according to a release. The research is taking place in collaboration with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC), a 10-year, $180 million research program funded by industry partners, universities and the Australian government. 

“CBDC is no longer a question of technological feasibility,” said Andreas Furche, CEO of the DFCRC, in the release. “The key research questions now are what economic benefits a CBDC could enable, and how it could be designed to maximise those benefits.” 

The research project is expected to take a year to complete and will feature a “limited scale” pilot program that will take place in ring-fenced environment, per the release. 

The Reserve Bank and DFCRC will select a range of different use cases proposed by industry participants to participate in the pilot. 

Once the project is completed, a report on the findings will be published and those findings will contribute to ongoing research into the desirability and feasibility of a CBDCs in Australia, the release said. 

Australia’s central bank joins several others — including the Bank of Thailand and the central bank of the Philippines — in exploring CBDC use cases with pilot programs. 

The RBA also recently partnered with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub to create two prototypes for an international settlement platform using multiple CBDCs alongside several other countries.

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