The U.S. is in a quiet phase of its decision on whether to build and issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), with the initial reactions to its long-awaited digital dollar report having been heard and the Federal Reserve having made clear that it won’t do anything until after it digests the results of a public comment period that ends on May 20.
Sweden, one of the first countries to embrace at least the idea of a CBDC, is still plodding along, with Riksbank and partner Accenture having just wrapped phase two of the e-krona testing. But, as Computer Weekly reported, it is “nowhere near” making final technology decisions about the digital currency. That said, the phase two testing did use blockchain technology.
Adrian Orr, governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, announced on Feb. 25 that the bank is starting proof-of-concept testing on a CBDC — something he described as a multi-year effort, according to OpenGov Asia.
The bank believes a CBDC could “provide a platform for economic and financial innovation, including competition in the payments and settlement sector, cross-border transfers and financial inclusion and capability building tools,” it said. Orr noted that privacy, tough security and the continued use of physical cash were among the base requirements.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has joined the naysayers, according to Benjamin Diokno, its central bank governor. Adding that most prefer cash and that current settlement systems are sufficient, Diokno said that in the near future, the bank would look only at a wholesale CBDC for intrabank settlements, Coingeek reported.