The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank, together with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), „have created a group to share experiences as they assess the potential cases for central bank digital currency (CBDC) in their home jurisdictions.”, according to a press release.
The group will assess CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies. It will closely coordinate with the relevant institutions and forums – in particular, the Financial Stability Board and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI).
The group will be co-chaired by Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, and Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Chair of the CPMI. It will include senior representatives of the participating institutions.
Former ECB board member Coeure in September described the arrival of Facebook’s putative cryptocurrency Libra as a „wake up call” for central banks, and called for public authorities to step up co-operation on the development of CBDCs.
„Much in this spirit, the ECB and the Bank of Japan have already joined forces to examine the possible use of distributed ledger technology in financial market infrastructures,” he said at the time. „The next natural step would be for global central banks to join forces and jointly investigate the feasibility of CBDCs based on common technical standards.”
„Though Libra has met with fierce resistance from central banks and supervisory authorities and might never see the light of day, in many other cases tech firms (both start-ups and established big players) have successfully captured bits and pieces of universal banks’ traditional value chain. This trend may only intensify in the coming years. In this environment, European banks remain squeezed.”