The Bank of England announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement with MIT’s Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative, or DCI, for a twelve-month joint research project on central bank digital currency, or CBDC. The bank said in a statement that the new project is for research purposes only and does not aim to develop an operational central bank digital currency.

The bank began exploring central bank digital currency in 2020 and published a discussion paper in March of that year, to which DCI responded with a discussion of how a central bank’s central bank could achieve the goals outlined in the paper. The Bank and the Ministry of Finance led an exploratory working group on the issue last April. The bank’s latest CBDC discussion paper was released on Thursday.

Other voices have entered the debate, such as the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee expressing mixed feelings about a potential digital pound earlier this year, citing “the benefits of quick settlement and cheaper and faster payments across borders.” In addition to “Financial Stability and Privacy Issues”.

The Bank of England joins the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Bank of Canada as DCI CBDC Research Partners and spearheads the OpenCBDC project. Last week, the Bank of Canada announced its multi-year joint research, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston began collaborating with DCI in 2020.

However, MIT is not alone in this area. About 60 countries are currently conducting CBDC research, and about 15 pilot projects are underway, including a self-made Chinese digital yuan. Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa participated in the Dunbar Bank for International Settlements project. Nigeria and the Bahamas have already launched a central bank digital currency, and Jamaica is expected to do so this quarter. Nigerian eNaira is developed by private fintech company Bitt.

Source: CoinTelegraph