Australia Publishes a CBDC Whitepaper and Pilot Program Details

Australia Publishes a CBDC Whitepaper and Pilot Program Details

The Reserve Bank of Australia published the whitepaper for its CBDC. The pilot will last a year and will focus on a variety of use cases.

The Reserve Bank of Australia released the official whitepaper for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) on Sept. 26, with a pilot expected by the middle of 2023. In a press release published alongside the whitepaper, the central bank said that it would be exploring use cases and look at the project as “an opportunity to further understanding of some of the technological, legal, and regulatory considerations associated with a CBDC.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia will be working with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) on the initiative. The latter is a research program funded by industry partners, universities, and the Australian government.

It is worth noting that the whitepaper does not explicitly guarantee a release of a CBDC, but rather that the whole effort remains an experiment. The central bank is expecting feedback and input from industry insiders to help with the project.

The CBDC trial will last a year, and the RBA and DFCRC have the discretion to select the use cases that will be involved in the pilot. The whitepaper release comes as the country generally begins to regulate the crypto market more intensely.

Crypto regulation efforts ramping up

Cryptocurrency regulation has become an important part of the agenda for many governments, and Australia is no different. Recently, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission increased its efforts to regulate the asset class. This comes as the number of Australians expected to enter the crypto market is set to be 1 million over the next 12 months.

With that kind of adoption, the effort to regulate crypto is not surprising. Australian senator Andrew Bragg recently introduced a crypto bill, just as crypto scams in Australia reached nearly $250 million in 2022. Australian law enforcement is tapping into their forensic units to ensure that crimes remain at a minimum.

Australia joins the growing list of countries working on a CBDC

The list of countries considering a CBDC is long and ever-growing. It’s clear to governments that they should make as much use of the technology as possible, and they don’t want to fall too far behind China. The senator’s bill actually makes a reference to China’s CBDC and talks about disclosure requirements for foreign CBDCs.

Other countries that recently made the headlines for CBDC-related developments include Saudi Arabia, Thailand, France, Taiwan, and Israel. These are only some of the many countries working with CBDCs, and it’s inevitable that there will be more announcements.

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