- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) advances its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) testing in the call money market.
- Mastercard announces new utility scenarios for Australia’s CBDC, facilitating its use across various blockchains.
India’s CBDC Takes Flight in Call Money Market
India’s central financial authority, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has embarked on a new phase of testing its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) within the call money market realm. For the uninitiated, the call money market operates as a nexus where financial institutions can either borrow or lend funds, typically for a one-day duration.
This CBDC initiative by India, which saw its inception in November 2022, began with nine seminal banks. Fast forward to the present, and these same banks are at the vanguard of this latest experimental phase. The progression to this stage has been smooth and punctual, resonating with the anticipations set forth by RBI’s Executive Director, Ajay Kumar Choudhary.
While India’s foray into the CBDC ecosystem is notable, it’s essential to understand the global context. Countries such as China have been proactive, with the digital yuan already undergoing tests with its populous and tourists alike.
Mastercard Amplifies Australian CBDC’s Versatility
Switching our gaze to Australia, intriguing advancements are unfolding. Mastercard, in collaboration with Cuscal and Mintable, has revealed innovative applications for the Australian CBDC. Now, this digital currency holds the potential to interoperate across diverse blockchains, amplifying its commerce potential. This endeavor is nested within the broader research spectrum spearheaded by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Digital Finance CRC (DFCRC).
A particularly captivating use-case brought to light is the potential to acquire Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain using the CBDC. Envision a scenario where a specific amount of the CBDC is “locked” within the RBA platform, simultaneously minting an equivalent quantum of wrapped Ethereum (ETH).
Richard Wormald, representing Mastercard from the Australasia division, illuminated the backdrop of this development. He highlighted a growing consumer appetite for engaging in commerce spanning multiple blockchain architectures.
However, the worldwide momentum behind CBDCs doesn’t come without its share of apprehensions. There’s a burgeoning discourse surrounding the privacy dimensions of these digital currencies. Critics opine that CBDCs might hand governments an unparalleled observational lens into individual spending patterns, or even provide the means to block specific transactions at their discretion.