WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
In the future your country’s cash could be digital, a game changer that would allow real time economic monitoring and much more.
As hundreds of countries including China, Finland, the EU, Japan, Sweden, the UK, and the USA, look at replacing their traditional fiat currency with new digital versions, known as Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDC’s for short, with China already rolling theirs out, complete with an expiry date, and Wall Street already freaking out about a US equivalent, the US Digital Dollar Project (DDP) has unveiled a sandbox programme to boost further exploration of technical implementations of a US CBDC.
The Digital Dollar Project is a non-profit organisation created to encourage research and public discussion on the potential advantages and challenges of a digital dollar.
Its Technical Sandbox Program is expected to begin in early October with the inaugural cohort focused on cross-border payments. It will serve as a collaborative space for DDP participants and financial service providers to evaluate technological, business and policy approaches to CBDCs.
Participants will probe real-world technology, explore potential implications to business strategies and operations, and experiment to uncover possible use-case specific solutions.
Jennifer Lassiter, executive director of The Digital Dollar Project, says: “The launch of our Technical Sandbox Program marks the next step in our effort to convene the private and public sector in exploration of a CBDC in the US.”
“We understand how important it is to include a diverse set of views and expertise as we look to answer key questions about how the technology could work, the problems we hope to solve, and the ultimate business and individual outcomes we want to achieve. The marriage of these sectors in our collaboration is essential and will lay the foundation for robust pilots that improve the outcomes and usability of CBDCs,” she added.
Each cohort in the programme will consist of two phases: An education phase and a pilot phase. Through the education phase, partners and participants will develop a business and functional understanding of the technology and evaluate the differences in possible design choices. During the pilot phase, the DDP partners and participants will identify and test specific CBDC use-case hypotheses with the aim of gathering data on business-level impacts.
The results gathered will be broadly shared and used to inform both private and public sector stakeholders on how advancing technical solutions can unlock business value in a transformative way.
“The Digital Dollar Project is excited to bring a broad array of industries and technical experts together to define desired outcomes and explore a wide range of technical design choices in relation to a US CBDC,” continues Lassiter. “The results of which will focus on answering critical questions around the impact of a potential US digital dollar.”
The DDP is committed to providing the federal government, policymakers, and private sector organisations with a stronger, clearer picture of what implementing a CBDC in the US would look like, and to answering important questions of what a roll-out might entail across retail, wholesale, and international use cases.