Australia Officially Launches CBDC Digital Currency Pilot

September 04, 2021, 10:00 AM AEST - 3 weeks ago

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has joined Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa to launch a Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) pilot for international settlements.

Project Dunbar, designed to support the G20 roadmap for enhancing cross-border payments, aims to test the efficiency of CBDCs and develop technical prototypes on different blockchains. This joint initiative will test shared blockchain platforms and explore different designs to enable central banks to share CBDC infrastructure.

The initiative is led by the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, the RBA, Bank Negara Malaysia, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and South African Reserve Bank.

We are confident that our work on multi-CBDCs for international settlements will break new ground in this next stage of CBDC experimentation and lay the foundation for global payments connectivity.

Andrew McCormack, head, BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre

The RBA said it expected to publish Project Dunbar’s results in early 2022. Technical prototypes of shared DLT platforms will be demonstrated at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November this year.

RBA Moving Forward With CBDCs

The RBA is now moving forward with CBDC development after previously downplaying the need for a national digital currency, stating “it does not consider that a policy case has yet emerged for issuing an Australian CBDC”.

Other central banks, such as the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), have been moving fast with plans to launch their respective national digital currencies. Compared to them, the RBA has been dragging its feet and is falling behind its global competitors – something for which the institution was heavily criticised by the Australian crypto community.

As Crypto News Australia reported in July, the People’s Bank of China has issued a whitepaper outlining the progress of the digital Yuan, revealing the CBDC uses smart contracts programmability as one of its several features.

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