Private, yes. Anonymous, no. In the race to bring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) into the mainstream, key questions revolve around how they will be issued, accounted for and tracked. At issue, then, is whether individual recipients and users would have anonymity as they spend the digital currencies. As of yet, there are no global, standardized rules that would guide how banks would issue or operate the CBDCs.
But there have been at least some attempts to offer up frameworks that would govern (at least) regional issuance, as a majority of central banks have been exploring — or are actively debuting — those digital currencies.
Back in October, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) offered a general framework for digital currencies. The BIS noted that “a CBDC could provide a complementary central bank money to the public, supporting a more resilient and diverse domestic payment system. It might also offer opportunities not possible with cash while supporting innovation.”
More recently, earlier this month, China proposed global rules that might govern how CBDCs should operate. Those rules touch on how the CBDCs would be used, how they would be monitored and how data would be collected in connection with their usage. People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Director General of the Digital Currency Institute Mu Changchun presented the new rules at a recent BIS seminar. The official said that CBDCs should be interoperable, and that data flow should be synchronized to help regulators monitor those transactions.