In the coming months, Australia’s Central Bank will launch a “live pilot” to test real-world use cases for its CBDC.
The Australian central bank, also known as the Reserve Bank of Australia, is moving from the theoretical aspects of a CBDC to a practical, real-world trial.
The central bank has partnered with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) to launch the “live pilot.” With the trial, the Reserve Bank of Australia aims to pinpoint the economic benefits of using a CBDC in Australia.
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The CBDC “live pilot” will involve participants from various industry spheres. According to RBA Assistant Governor Financial System Brad Jones, CBDC will be tested by both smaller fintech and large financial firms. He added that the pilot study and broader research would serve two purposes:
It will contribute to hands-on learning by industry, and it will add to policy makers’ understanding of how a CBDC could potentially benefit the Australian financial system and economy.
During the initial call for submissions, many interested parties sent applications. To pick which companies could participate in the pilot, the central bank considered many factors, including which firms could provide the best insights into the benefits of a CBDC.
Dilip Rao, the Program Director of the CBDC at DFCRC, also commented on the pilot. He noted that the study would:
Inform further research into design considerations for a CBDC that could potentially play a role in a tokenized economy.
The “live pilot” is set to start on March 31st and finish on May 31st. Once the pilot is over, the Reserve Bank of Australia plans to publish the report until June 2023.
It is worth noting that in August 2022, the Reserve Bank of Australia launched a similar CBDC-related pilot.
China remains a leader in the CBDC sector, with other countries playing catch up. Thus far, China has conducted multiple CBDC pilot studies involving millions of people in several provinces. Despite many CBDC pilots worldwide, no major economy has introduced a CBDC for the masses.