Irish firm Accenture to oversee 5 ‘digital dollar’ pilots in the U.S.

The Digital Dollar Project, a non-profit organization co-founded by former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) chairman Christopher Giancarlo, plans to launch five pilot programs focused on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) within the next 12 months, a report by Reuters said yesterday.

As FRB Chairman Powell has said, the goal is to get a US #CBDC right, not to be first, and we’ve modeled pilots to help inform that mission. #DigitalDollarProject

— Chris Giancarlo (@giancarloMKTS) May 3, 2021

The pilots aim to explore various aspects of a digital dollar as well as functional, sociological, and business use cases.

Three of these programs will launch over the next two months and will add their findings to the data already generated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—which works on a similar project with the U.S. Federal Reserve. 

“There are conferences and papers coming out every week around the world on CBDCs based on data from other countries. What there is not, is any real data and testing from the United States to inform that debate. We’re seeking to generate that real-world data,” explained Giancarlo.

Digital dollar?

The Digital Dollar Project was launched last year as a result of a partnership between Irish multinational consulting and processing company Accenture and the Digital Dollar Foundation.

By working with financial firms, retailers, and non-government organizations, the initiative looks to collect all kinds of data related to CBDCs to help U.S. policymakers to develop and launch a digital dollar.

“It’s vital that the U.S. asserts leadership as it has in previous technological innovations,” Giancarlo added, commenting on China’s latest advances in the field of CBDCs.

Emergence of CBDCs

As CryptoSlate reported, while many central banks around the world are skeptical of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, a lot of them have said that CBDCs are a much better solution for digital payments.

According to survey data released by the Bank for International Settlements, for example, 80% of the world’s 66 central banks said they are studying digital currency technology, and about 20% said they are likely to issue digital currencies in the next six years.

Meanwhile, experts at the International Monetary Fund also pointed out that CBDCs do not threaten Bitcoin—Instead, their success could actually depend on the crypto.

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