Australia to explore blockchain-based wholesale central bank digital currency

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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is exploring the potential use of a blockchain-based central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a wholesale form.

The Australian central bank said in announcement on Monday that the project is a collaborative one with help from Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Perpetual and Ethereum start-up ConsenSys, which is part of the RBA's continuous search on wholesale CBDC.

"The project will involve the development of a proof-of-concept (POC) for the issuance of a tokenized form of CBDC that can be used by wholesale market participants for the funding, settlement and repayment of a tokenized syndicated loan on an Ethereum-based DLT platform," the RBA said in the announcement.

"While the case for the use of a CBDC in these markets remains an open question, we are pleased to be collaborating with industry partners to explore if there is a future role for a wholesale CBDC in the Australian payments system," said the RBA's assistant governor Michele Bullock.

The central bank expects the project to be completed around the year end with an anticipation to publish their main findings during the first half of next year.

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