Mastercard has successfully demonstrated a solution that allows Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) to be utilized on different blockchain networks. This collaboration between Mastercard, Cuscal, and Mintable was conducted as part of a research project with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC).
The aim of this initiative is to explore the potential applications of a CBDC in Australia. Strict controls have been implemented to ensure that the pilot CBDC can only be owned, used, and redeemed by authorized entities who have undergone Know Your Customer (KYC) verification and risk assessment.
Mastercard showcased the demonstration in a live environment, showing how holders of a pilot CBDC can purchase a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain. The process involves locking the required amount of pilot CBDC on the RBA’s CBDC platform and generating an equivalent amount of wrapped pilot CBDC tokens on the Ethereum network.
This program leverages the Multi Token Network introduced by Mastercard, providing a framework for more efficient payment and commerce applications using blockchain technology. It also offers interoperability, allowing the use of capabilities across multiple supported payment tokens and networks.
The collaboration between Mastercard and Mintable aims to integrate digital currencies and NFTs, potentially enhancing security and unlocking new opportunities for commerce. Australia’s central bank has been actively exploring the potential benefits of CBDCs, and prior to this wrapped CBDC trial, they completed their own CBDC pilot program.
The pilot program identified four key areas where a CBDC could bring improvements, including facilitating smarter payments, stimulating innovation in the private digital currency sector, supporting financial innovation in debt securities markets, and improving inclusivity and resilience in the digital economy.
While the implementation of CBDCs could enhance efficiency and resilience in specific aspects of the Australian payments ecosystem, further research is needed to fully explore their potential advantages.