On July 17th, The Block presented its Central Bank Digital Currencies - Design, Policy & Implementation webinar before a live audience. This webinar served as a prelude to The Block's central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) whitepaper, set for release in the coming weeks.
The webinar began with a brief presentation on the main concepts of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) by The Block research analyst Ryan Todd. Todd walked the audience through the data collection methodology, stating: "We've conducted a number of interviews across central banks, policymakers, researchers, tech vendors and financial institutions." He also shared a statistic showing that 80% of central banks worldwide are "engaged" with CBDC research and development.
Next, Todd handed the presentation over to The Block research analyst Mike Rogers. Rogers moderated the CBDC expert panel, which featured:
- Sheila Warren — head of blockchain, digital assets and data policy for the World Economic Forum (WEF)
- Carmelle Cadet — founder & CEO of Emtech
- John Kiff — senior financial sector expert for the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Robert Bench —director of applied fintech research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
These practitioners answered questions relating to their area of CBDC specialization.
Sheila Warren focused on the policy side of CBDC, sharing her experiences at the WEF — these included creating both The Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance and The WEF's CBDC Policy-Maker Toolkit.
John Kiff discussed the finer points of CBDC standardization, economic theory and other findings from the IMF's A Survey of Research on Retail Central Bank Digital Currency paper.
As a service provider for the Bahamas' Project Sand Dollar, Carmelle Cadet focused on CBDC implementation. Carmelle noted the importance of information technology (IT) infrastructure, application programming interface (API) transformation and regulatory sandboxes for smoothing CBDC execution.
Robert Bench shared his insights regarding CBDC in North America, particularly the importance of aligning stakeholders across the CBDC spectrum. He also briefly commented on the Digital Dollar Project.
You can view the webinar in its entirety along with the accompanying slides below:
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