Australia launches CBDC test program, complete with carbon credit trading

Australia launches CBDC test program, complete with carbon credit trading

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), similar to the private Federal Reserve here in the United States, has launched 14 different central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot programs in an effort to shift the country entirely to a cashless society.

The Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) reportedly partnered with Grollo Carbon Ventures (GCV) to launch the trading of so-called Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which are tokens backed by “nature-based and real-world assets,” according to Reclaim the Net.

There is already a “stablecoin” called A$DC that is paired with these ACCUs, which GCV can now purchase with real-time settlement through ANZ’s smart contracts scheme.

A formal transaction already took place with this dollar-backed stablecoin on a public and permissionless blockchain system using a pilot CBDC to back its issuance.

“When applied to carbon markets, tokenization has the potential to improve efficiency and transparency, reduce risk and preserve the unique characteristics of underlying projects to incentivize investment in climate solutions,” announced Nigel Dobson, ANZ’s banking services head about the venture.

(Related: The purpose behind a central bank digital currency is to enslave everyone in digital concentration camps.)

Will Australia become the first country in the world to unleash a CBDC?

Two universities are reportedly involved with the scheme as well. They are said to be running a trial of offline CBDC payments while another pilot project tests the effectiveness and efficiency of employers using CBDCs as an alternative to paying their employees with normal cash.

The RBA is also said to be phasing in the use of a digital Australian dollar called the eAUD.

In a joint announcement with Australia’s Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre, the RBA said it invited a handful of companies, including ANZ and Mastercard, to help it explore 14 different use cases for eAUD.

“The use cases range from facilitating offline payments to tokenized invoices for businesses, and even livestock auctions,” reported Decrypt last month.

In a separate announcement, RBA Assistant Governor Brad Jones stated that the pilot program and a “broader research study” to be conducted in parallel with it “will serve two ends – it will contribute to hands-on learning by industry, and it will add to policymakers’ understanding of how a CBDC could potentially benefit the Australian financial system and economy.”

Canvas Digital, a layer-2 network built on top of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, is also included in the project. That network, which was built in conjunction with the Israel-based firm StarkWare, uses Circle’s USDC stablecoin and the eAUD, and will help facilitate the settlement of foreign exchange transactions.

“We see that there are huge benefits in using CBDCs and digital currencies like USDC in foreign exchange trading and international remittances,” said Canvas Digital co-founder and CEO David Lavecky to Decrypt.

“When you are doing a foreign currency trade, it’s not visible on Etherscan […] for everyone. So, you get all the benefits of a public blockchain and none of the drawbacks around privacy.”

Eli Ben-Sasson, the co-founder and president of StarkWare, added that his company’s involvement in the piloting of the RBA’s CBDC will “show people new digital currencies aren’t empty hype,” but rather serve a purpose that fits into people’s “normal lives.”

“Just a few years ago, the idea of rollups was highly theoretical; now they’re playing a part in projects like this,” Ben-Sasson is quoted as saying. “These are exciting times.”

Unlike other cryptocurrencies that are issued by private companies and maintained on decentralized networks, CBDCs like eAUD are fully backed and maintained by their respective governments.

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