Australian Wholesale CBDC - Project Atom findings

The Reserve Bank of Australia along with CBA, NAB, Perpetual, King & Wood Mallesons, and Consensys released the findings of a joint research project and proof of concept (Project Atom) into the use of distributed ledger technology to issue new forms of money such as a central bank digitial currency (CBDC). This has been done overseas in China and their eCNY including city-wide pilots and in the Bahamas with their Sand Dollar.


The findings for Project Atom showed that more questions were raised and more work needing to be done but the key was that they found many benefits of using a wholesale CBDC to settle transactions between government and wholesale clients (not just commercial banks, as was looked at in 2018/19).


Summary of POC features per Appendix A: Technical Solution

Details of this proof of concept system were shared in the paper which included analysis of CBDC utility, platform interoperability and DvP settlement as well as isses like efficiency and confidentiality.


More details in the paper available here: https://www.rba.gov.au/payments-and-infrastructure/central-bank-digital-currency/pdf/project-atom-report_2021-12.pdf


Whilst the test was a success, it should be considered in line with the pros and cons of CBDCs and Investopedia notes a few in this article.


Pros and Cons of CBDCs


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