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  • Writer's pictureT Skevington and M Bacina

Hold the Vegemite! Central banks collaborating to consider digital currency use cases without AUS

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has announced that a working group of central banks has been formed to assess use cases for central bank digital currency (CBDC), sadly without the Reserve Bank of Australia being a part of the working group.

The BIS group will be considering the economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability of CBDC, sharing knowledge on emerging technologies generally, and working closely with the Financial Stability Board and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures.

The starting members of the group are the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden), the Swiss National Bank, as well as the BIS. Unfortunately there's unlikely to be any Lamintons or Vegemite sandwiches at the working group, with the Reserve Bank of Australia yet to indicate any interest in participating, despite their recent announcement that they had developed a proof-of-concept of a wholesale settlement system running on a private, permissioned Ethereum network. Maybe they can send a report on the pilot with a care-package to the working group?

The press release announcing the formation of the group stated that the group goal is to:

assess CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies.

Notably absent from the working group however, are the People’s Bank of China, which is well known as being in the process of preparing a retail CBDC, the Bank of Thailand for its Project Inthanon, and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The group will be co-chaired by Benoît Cœuré, alongside Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Chair of the CPMI. This latest foray deepens Cœuré's involvement in the BIS' cryptoasset endeavours, after Cœuré was recently appointed as head of the BIS's Innovation Hub. Cœuré was formerly a director at the ECB and the previous CPMI Chair. He is also the chair of the G7 working group on global stablecoins.


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