Australia to Debut ‘Live Pilot’ of CBDC This Year

Offline payments, tax automation, and a CBDC for

The Reserve Bank of Australia and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Center announced jointly that the country’s central bank would begin a “live pilot” of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the “coming months.”

On March 2, the RBA announced a project it was working on together with the DFCRC to “explore potential use cases and economic benefits of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Australia.” Additionally, it entails choosing a number of representatives from the finance sector to illustrate possible CBDC use cases. 

Mastercard Also Involved in Australia’s CBDC Trial

Offline payments, tax automation, and a CBDC for “trusted Web3 commerce” are among the situations being tested. Banks like the Commonwealth Bank and Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) bank are among the trial’s members, together with payment service providers like Mastercard.

Assistant governor for financial systems at the RBA, Brad Jones said that “the pilot and broader research study that will be conducted in parallel will serve two ends – it will contribute to hands-on learning by industry, and it will add to policymakers’ understanding of how a CBDC could potentially benefit the Australian financial system and economy.”

The pilot programme, according to Eli Ben-Sasson, co-founder and president of the blockchain scaling technology company StarkWare, is “an essential step in the journey” for integrating blockchain into conventional finance. He further adds: 

“What we very much need is a set of use cases that show people new digital currencies aren’t empty hype, but rather can do stuff we all need in our normal lives. The question is how to best do this.”

Similar to Australia, many other countries have been looking into how to implement a CBDC for simple and efficient transactions, including Russia and Japan. The commencement date for Russia’s CBDC pilot initiative is April 1. Likely in April 2023, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will also launch a pilot initiative for its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).