Australia’s central bank today announced that it has chosen ConsenSys and Ethereum to launch a central bank digital currency (MNBC) research project. It is an about-face for the institution, which was until then very suspicious of cryptocurrency.

Australia’s central bank chooses ConsenSys and Ethereum

The Reserve Bank of Australia explained its choice in a statement released today . Research into a future Australian MNBC will be made possible through a partnership between the central bank, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and ConsenSys, an Ethereum development company. The association is described as “ a collaborative project to explore the potential uses and implications of a form to large-scale digital central bank money, which would use technology registers distributed“ .

It will be for the partners to develop a proof of concept that would prove the viability of a form of tokenized MNBC, thanks to a platform based on Ethereum . The solution will explore features like “atomic” regulations, as well as other programmable and automated features.

Just like the majority of central banks entering the race, the Reserve Bank of Australia is officially very cautious :

“While the use cases of an MNBC in these markets are still open to question, we are excited to work with industry partners to determine if a large-scale MNBC would have a role to play in future of Australia’s payment systems. “

Australia opens up to cryptocurrencies

It must be said that the central bank of Australia started from afar. In 2019, she was very skeptical about cryptocurrencies, explaining:

“ No cryptocurrency operates as a currency in Australia , or as a widely used payment method. The proposals to improve scalability and volatility have met with mixed success. “

But the gradual arrival of cryptocurrencies in the country has shown interest at the local level. Gemini, the exchange of the Winklevoss brothers, had exported to Australia the same year. Australia’s largest gold refinery also followed suit by offering an asset now common in the ecosystem: a gold-backed stablecoin . Last sign of this opening: since last summer, Australians can buy bitcoins in cash… Directly in their post offices .

The about-face of the central bank of Australia is therefore notable, it shows that the major economies are gradually opening up to the field. As for ConsenSys, it is once again strengthening its status as a reference service provider. It is in fact the eighth central bank that the company supports for research in the field of MNBCs.