Amid the country’s ongoing Senate inquiry into crypto regulation, the Reserve Bank of Australia has posted a job advertisement for a position within its Central Bank Digital Currency research team.
- A successful applicant would join a new cross-disciplinary team to research “whether there is a case for a CBDC in Australia, and if so, how it might be designed and what benefits and other implications it would have.”
- The move is another sign the RBA appears to be warming to the idea of establishing a CBDC; in its recent submission to the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre, the bank admitted it had been conducting research into CBDCs, but did not yet believe the case for issuing one had emerged. As part of the same submission, the bank said that while an Australian-backed stablecoin has not yet been issued, it is already researching the best regulatory approach to take should one ever be issued.
- Just this month, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub announced a collaboration with central banks, including Australia’s, to test the use of CBDCs for international settlements. Named Project Dunbar, the project aims to develop and test platforms for cross-border payments using multiple CBDCs, thereby eliminating reliance on intermediaries. The Central Banks of Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa are also involved in the project.
- While CBDCs are gaining interest from international regulators, some debate persists as to whether stablecoins could present a more viable option. “Private-sector innovations might reduce the markup charged by banks more effectively than a CBDC would,” Federal Reserve board member Chris Waller said in a recent speech to the American Enterprise Institute. “If one or more stablecoin arrangements can develop a significant user base, they could become a major challenger to banks for processing payments.”