The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) have collaboratively presented the findings from their joint research initiative, which focused on evaluating the viability of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Australia.
The report outlines conclusions drawn from the endeavour, which entailed active involvement from the industry and an in-depth exploration of potential use cases for a CBDC within the nation.
At the core of the undertaking was the issuance of a limited-scale ‘pilot’ CBDC by the RBA, signifying a legitimate and official claim on the Reserve Bank. This controlled CBDC was put into practice for the purpose of testing, enabling chosen industry participants to exhibit inventive payment and settlement services tailored for Australian households and businesses. The trial encompassed a variety of scenarios that highlighted conceivable areas where a CBDC could heighten the efficiency of the payment system. Concurrently, the project brought attention to several legal, regulatory, technical, and operational considerations associated with CBDC implementation. These factors will require further investigation in subsequent research initiatives.
Brad Jones, the Assistant Governor (Financial System) at the RBA, underscored the valuable insights gained from the project in terms of conceptualising the role a CBDC could play within Australia’s financial realm. He remarked, “The project has yielded invaluable insights into how a CBDC, in conjunction with other innovations in digital currency, could potentially unleash advantages for the Australian financial system and the broader economy. It has also underscored the advantages of close collaboration between industry participants and policymakers when exploring the prospects and challenges linked to advancements in digital currency.” Jones indicated that the conclusions from the project will steer the RBA’s forthcoming research agenda concerning the transformation of currency in Australia. This research will particularly delve into tokenised asset markets and customisable payments.
The CEO of the DFCRC accentuated the project’s emphasis on continuous financial innovation. He observed, “The report highlights the fact that innovation in finance is a perpetual journey. The strong engagement of the industry in this endeavour underscores the significance of collaboration between central banks as the ultimate issuers of national currency and industry experts who drive its potential applications.” Furche suggested that future research on CBDCs might focus on scenarios that align with the CBDC’s capacity to facilitate inventive financial products and services.
Both the RBA and DFCRC expressed their gratitude for the extensive involvement of industry stakeholders who devoted considerable time and resources to the project. The findings of this research underscore the importance of a cooperative approach between financial authorities and industry stakeholders when exploring the intricacies and prospects associated with the integration of CBDCs into national economies.