CBA joins industry pilot to explore use cases for a CBDC

Two areas that have the most potential are real asset tokenisation and smart payments

Following the announcement from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC), the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with both organisations and other industry participants to explore use cases for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

CBA’s Managing Director of Blockchain and Digital Assets, Sophie Gilder, said: “As an active participant in two use cases, our years of applied innovation in blockchain will help demonstrate the potential benefits of a CBDC implementation over the longer term as envisaged by this latest and exciting development.

“Through CBA’s experimentation with blockchain technologies since the mid-2010s, we have been closely attuned to the importance of global developments in innovative payment methods, including CBDCs. Two areas where we see the most potential are real asset tokenisation and smart payments, and we have chosen to explore use cases in those domains. Our focus on sustainability, productivity and emerging technologies aligns to the goals of the RBA and other industry participants,” Gilder said.

CBA’s experimentation with blockchain technology over the years includes:

  • Collaborating on wholesale CBDC project with the RBA in 2021.
  • Conducting a stablecoin pilot with a built-in loyalty program in 2016.
  • Achieving a global first in 2018 by issuing a bond on the blockchain in collaboration with the World Bank.
  • A year later, in 2019, conducting a global trade pilot to trace provenance from source to destination using a shipment of almonds.
  • In 2019, partnering with Data61 on ‘Making Money Smart’ proof of concept applying programmable payments to the NDIS and also conducting a proof of concept for a digital marketplace for trading tokenised biodiversity credits in the form of NFTs using a digital dollar for settlement.

“While it will take some time to assess the exact roles that blockchain and specifically a CBDC will play in the future of the financial system, it is essential that Australia continues to build our capabilities in this key area of finance and explore the possibilities of emerging technologies.

“We are therefore committed to working with industry and organisations like the DFCRC and RBA to advance innovation and deliver real, tangible benefits to our customers and Australia as a whole,” Gilder continued.



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