On Wednesday, the Digital Dollar Project welcomed President Biden’s executive order to begin a government-wide effort to explore central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
The Digital Dollar Project is a private sector research initiative started by Accenture and the Digital Dollar Foundation, which was co-founded by J. Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It aims to encourage research and public discussion on the potential advantages and challenges of a US CBDC.
On March 9, President Biden signed an Executive Order outlining the first whole-of-government approach to harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and the underlying technology as well as understanding their risks. Not all Federal Reserve governors have been supportive of the idea of a CBDC, but Biden’s order directs the Federal Reserve to explore a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC) and provide a detailed report within six months, adding a degree of urgency. The Fed published a CBDC document in January as part of a public consultation.
“Exploration of a tokenized dollar is a logical and critical next step to consider how best to future-proof the dollar and enshrine its democratic values in the future of money,” said Digital Dollar Project Executive Director, Jennifer Lassiter. The current work conducted by MIT and the Boston Federal Reserve explores both token-based and account-based CBDC.
Additionally, the Digital Dollar Project announced six new members, including Visa, Western Union and the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). Two non-profits that signed up are Feed the Children and Elijah’s Heart, joining more than 40 existing partners.
“The addition of our new partners coupled with President Biden’s Executive Order adds momentum to our work exploring a more inclusive, efficient and programmable financial system built for the needs of tomorrow,” said Digital Dollar Project Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.
The Digital Dollar Project has been working on the design of a number of pilots, which will be launched soon.