- The Federal Reserve System is seeking senior technologists to perform CBDC research and development, including developers and engineers, to work on the project.
- Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are being investigated by central banks in various developed countries to understand their benefits and risks.
- Many countries, including Russia, China, the US, and Japan, are investigating or implementing CBDCs, with Japan set to launch a CBDC pilot program in April.
The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank is currently advertising for a CBDC developer to investigate the benefits and risks of various CBDC-related technologies. The candidate will work closely with senior management, the team’s other developers, and the company’s vendors to develop and deploy the technologies required to create a CBDC.
The Fed is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to explore the potential of CBDCs. Last year, it revealed a platform capable of handling 1.7 million transactions per second. The new interest in digital currencies is driven by its belief that a digital dollar can remove intrinsic friction and create more benefits.
The Federal Reserve’s CBDC Interest
The world has witnessed an upsurge in interest in digital currencies, particularly central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The US Federal Reserve is one of the many central banks in the developed world currently studying the potential benefits and risks of issuing a digital currency. The Fed aims to promote accessible, safe, and efficient systems that facilitate dollar transactions.
Despite the increasing interest in CBDCs, the Federal Reserve has yet to decide whether it will proceed with the project. However, the current Fed Chair has suggested that privately-issued digital dollars could coexist with government-issued CBDC.
A significant concern for many individuals is privacy. While the government may promise to respect individual privacy, there is growing distrust among citizens that the government will breach their privacy.
CBDCs Around the World: A Global Perspective
The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank’s job ad indicates a broader trend: countries worldwide are either implementing or exploring the possibility of a CBDC. The Atlantic Council, an American think tank, claims that 114 countries representing more than 95% of global GDP are interested in CBDCs. Seventeen countries, including Russia and China, are already conducting CBDC pilot programs, and 33 countries, including Japan and the US, are working to develop CBDCs.
The Japanese government announced last week that it would launch a CBDC pilot program in April. The pilot program will focus on testing the “practicability” of CBDCs and learning how private businesses utilize digital currencies. The Bahamas and Nigeria are among the 11 countries that have fully implemented CBDCs; other countries are expected to follow suit.
CBDCs, according to proponents, can significantly reduce transaction costs, promote financial inclusion, and eliminate the need for intermediaries. CBDCs will also allow central banks to increase the efficiency of monetary policy, strengthen financial stability, and enhance monetary policy transmission. However, there are also concerns that a CBDC could lead to a run on commercial banks, increase the likelihood of cyber-attacks, and negatively impact individual privacy.
One of the most significant advantages of CBDCs is the potential to promote financial inclusion, enabling people currently excluded from traditional economic systems to access banking services. According to a report by the World Bank, approximately 1.7 billion adults worldwide remain unbanked, making them vulnerable to financial shocks, economic exclusion, and poverty. A CBDC can create financial inclusion by increasing access to banking services and reducing the costs of transacting.