Over 40 central banks worldwide are experimenting with blockchain technology

  • Ashley Lannquist, the primary author of the report, stated that several central banks are looking into experimenting with cryptocurrencies.
  • The central banks use permissioned blockchain network to create their CBDCs.

As per a new report by the World Economic Forum, over 40 central banks around the world are experimenting with blockchain technology. Ashley Lannquist, a project lead in blockchain and distributed ledger technology at the World Economic Forum and the primary author of the report, believes that “It’s very much the case that several central banks are looking at this [experimenting with cryptocurrencies].”

The report states that the degree of this experimentation varies greatly among banks:

“The degree of blockchain technology research and experimentation varies greatly among central banks, as do the motivations for interest. Some central banks are progressive, having begun research and experimentation as early as 2014 and having conducted multiple pilots or even deployments. Another set of institutions is curious and interested in the technology but largely monitors activity by peer institutions and within the private sector, including cryptocurrency investing activity. A final set has not yet dedicated resources to blockchain technology research and may never do so, either because of pressing priorities or the view that DLT at this stage does not promise sufficient upside when considering technological immaturity and risks.”

The report states how these central banks implement their CBDC pilots:

“In many of these CBDC pilots, the central bank issues digital tokens on a distributed ledger that represent, and are redeemable for, central bank reserves in the domestic currency held in a separate account with the central bank. The agents in the system use the CBDC to make interbank transfers that are validated and settled on the distributed ledger.”

The central banks prefer permissioned blockchain networks to create their CBDCs:

“The central banks typically use “permissioned” blockchain network implementations, whereby participants are limited and must be granted access to participate in the network and view the set of transactions. 

The central bank chooses, according to suitability and availability, the type of network and its internal mechanisms (most importantly, the decentralized consensus mechanism the network uses for participants to reach agreement on valid transactions). R3’s Corda, the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, J.P. Morgan’s Quorum, or a simple private configuration of the Ethereum blockchain network are the most popular implementations used by central banks.”

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