The Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) today held a meeting, discussing a raft of issues, including international research on central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Members discussed the work that is taking place internationally on CBDCs, including the development of proofs of concept by some central banks. The Board says that it is following this work closely but continues to be of the view that there is not a strong public policy case at present for issuance of a retail CBDC in Australia.

The Bank is continuing its collaborative research project on a wholesale CBDC with a number of external parties, which is due to be completed in the coming months.

Let’s recall that, in November 2020, RBA announced a partnership with Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Perpetual and blockchain technology company ConsenSys Software, on a collaborative project to explore the potential use and implications of a wholesale form of CBDC using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The project will involve the development of a proof-of-concept (POC) for the issuance of a tokenised form of CBDC that can be used by wholesale market participants for the funding, settlement and repayment of a tokenised syndicated loan on an Ethereum-based DLT platform. The POC will be used to explore the implications of ‘atomic’ delivery-versus-payment settlement on a DLT platform as well as other potential programmability and automation features of tokenised CBDC and financial assets.

The parties intend to publish a report on the project and its main findings during the first half of 2021.