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MIT adds the Bank of England to its stable of CBDC digital currency research partners


The Bank of England stated on Friday that it has achieved a deal with the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative, or DCI, on a 12-month research project on Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC. The new project, according to the bank, is just for research reasons and will not result in the creation of a functional CBDC.

In March of that year, the bank released a discussion paper on CBDC. To which the DCI responded with a debate on how a CBDC may satisfy the report’s objectives. In April of last year, the bank and the Treasury formed an exploratory task force on the subject. On Thursday, the bank released its latest CBDC discussion paper.

Other voices have chimed in, with the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, for example, expressing mixed feelings about a potential digital pound earlier this year, citing “advantages on the speed of settlement and cheaper and faster cross-border payments,” as well as “challenges for financial stability and privacy protection.”

CBDCs are now being researched in over 60 nations

The Bank of England has joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Bank of Canada as CBDC research partners at the DCI, the project’s originator. Last Monday, the Bank of Canada announced a year-long engagement with the DCI. While the Boston Fed began working with the DCI in 2020.

However, MIT isn’t the only one working in this area. CBDCs are now being researched in over 60 nations, with about 15 pilot projects active, including China’s own digital yuan. The Bank of International Settlements Innovation Hub’s Project Dunbar included Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa. Nigeria and the Bahamas have already started CBDCs, with Jamaica following suit later this quarter. Bitt, a private fintech startup in Nigeria, invented the eNaira.

Bank of England announced membership of CBDC Forums

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