Could the next driver of blockchain adoption be central bank backed digital cash?

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The Financial Times reported that the IMF, (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank, are launching a “Learning Coin” on a private blockchain to gain a better understanding of how blockchains work.  In a statement, the IMF said:

“The development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it. This is forcing central banks, regulators and financial institutions to recognise a growing knowledge gap between the legislators, policymakers, economists and the technology. This project begins to bridge that gap and form a strong knowledge base of the technology among IMF and World Bank staff.”

On 3rd April 2019, the World Economic Forum published a white paper titled: “Central Banks and Distributed Ledger Technology: How are Central Banks Exploring Blockchains Today?”

The white paper lists 10 projects Central Banks are actively pursuing.

  1. Retail central bank digital currency.

  2. Wholesale central bank digital currency.

  3. Interbank securities settlement.

  4. Payment system resiliency and contingency.

  5. Bond issuance and lifecycle management.

  6. Know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering – Digital KYC/AML.

  7. Information exchange and data sharing.

  8. Trade Finance.

  9. Cash money supply chain.

  10. Customer SEPA Creditor Identifier (SCI) provisioning.

Of the ten projects listed above, the top three, retail and wholesale digital currency, and interbank payments suggest a possible to replacement for cash.



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