Central Bankers From Canada, Netherlands, Ukraine Call Blockchain Unnecessary for Digital Fiat

Monday 5 February 2020, 5:15 PM AEST - 3 months ago

Björn Segendorf, a senior advisor in the Swedish central bank's payments department. (Photo by Anna Baydakova for CoinDesk)Sveriges Riksbank is trying R3's Corda blockchain just to learn about the tech. "We need to get our hands dirty," explains Björn Segendorf, a senior advisor in the Swedish central bank's payments department. (Photo by Anna Baydakova for CoinDesk)

KYIV, UKRAINE — Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have been a hot topic in blockchain circles recently, but central banks are lukewarm about blockchains.

Representatives of a number of the worlds central banks discussed their CBDC projects last week in Kyiv, Ukraine. The one-day conference was arranged by the National Bank of Ukraine, or NBU, which itself is a CBDC pioneer, having run its own digital currency pilot in 2018.

The central bank wanted to test its ideas and conclusions with the banking community and stimulate the discussion, the head of its innovative development department, Roman Hartinger, told CoinDesk. The speakers included representatives of NBUs peers from Canada, Japan, Lithuania, Finland, Netherlands, Belarus, Uruguay and South Africa.

The discussion comes at a time when the world's two largest economies, are each seriously exploring the possibility of issuing a CBDC, although China appears to be much further down the road than the U.S.

According to a report issued in September, NBU started exploring the idea of a digital currency, named e-hryvnia after Ukraines national currency, as early as 2016. In 2018, the central bank tested a digital token running on a fork, or modified copy, of the Stellar blockchain.

The pilot was run with the tech startup AtticLab, fintech companies Uapay and OMP 2013 and with "Big Four" professional-services firm Deloitte as an auditor, the report says. From September to December 2018, the NBU tested the software with a limited set of participants.

The tests showed that there are no fundam ...

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