The Reserve Bank of Australia is continuing to explore how to design and operate a CBDC.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has revealed it’s continuing to research a central bank digital currency (CBDC) less than a month after stating that there was no need for one.
The RBA also revealed it is considering the possibility of a more targeted “wholesale” CBDC.
Speaking at the University of Western Australia Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Fintech Conference, Tony Richards — the Head of Payments Policy at the RBA — stated:
“We will be continuing to consider the case for a CBDC, including how it might be designed, the potential benefits and policy implications, and the conditions in which significant demand for a CBDC might emerge.”
Richards added that the public policy case for issuing a general purpose or retail CBDC in Australia is still to be made. According to reports in mid-September, the RBA was highly skeptical and did not believe there was a strong policy case for issuing a CBDC at the time.
Richards added that while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are based on public blockchains, this would not necessarily be the case for a CBDC which may be developed using a permissioned and centralized digital ledger.
The RBA is also looking at a number of factors that could help shape a potential CBDC, continued Richards, such as whether it would be account-based or token-based, and whether it could be used offline.
Richards also revealed that separate to the central bank’s work monitoring cases for a retail CBDC, it is conducting research on the technological and policy implications of a potential wholesale CBDC which would be accessible to a more limited range of financial entities.
Richards stated that the Bank has an open mind on CBDCs and will continue to monitor developments in this area, adding;
“If some jurisdictions do move towards full implementations of CBDC, there will be many central banks like us who will be closely watching,”