Australia's central bank launches digital currency project


FILE PHOTO: A worker is reflected in a wall of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) head office in central Sydney, Australia, March 1, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's central bank on Tuesday said it was launching a one-year research programme into the case for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Australia, focusing on what potential economic benefits it might bring.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is partnering with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC), a government-backed industry group, in the program.

The project will seek to identify innovative use cases and business models that could be supported by the issuance of a CBDC, and better understand of some of its technological, legal and regulatory considerations.

It will involve the development of a limited-scale CBDC pilot that will operate in a ring-fenced environment and involve a pilot CBDC that is a real claim on the RBA.

Interested industry participants will be invited to develop specific use cases that demonstrate how a CBDC could be used to provide innovative and value-added payment and settlement services to households and businesses.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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