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NY Fed and banks upbeat on digital dollar pilot results

NY Fed and banks upbeat on digital dollar pilot results

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that proof-of-concept run with a host of banks has demonstrated the feasibility of a regulated digital asset settlement platform supported by shared ledger technology.

The NY Fed's New York Innovation Center worked with banks - including Citi, HSBC and Wells Fargo - as well as Swift and SETL on the PoC exploring a Regulated Liability Network (RLN), which is envisioned as an interoperable network for wholesale payments operating on a shared multi-entity distributed ledger.

The experiment was designed to see whether shared ledger technology could tackle some of the frictions - such as speed, cost, off-hours availability, and the settlement process - that traditional payment systems suffer from.

A working group split into three stream looking at the business applicability, technical feasibility, and legal viability of using shared ledger technology to settle the liabilities of regulated financial institutions through the transfer of central bank money.

The business workstream concluded that a global, near real-time, 24/7, dollar payment system could be delivered through the RLN concept, enhancing the processing of cross-border payments denominated in USD.

The technical workstream validated that the proposed architecture was able to deliver the benefits of settlement finality, a common source of truth, standard transaction data, and privacy for all participants on the network. The system demonstrated programmability through smart contracts that could enable efficient liquidity management.

Meanwhile, including a theoretical wCBDC and commercial bank deposit tokens on the same platform enabled a shared ledger to settle payment transactions simultaneously and in near real-time.

Finally, the legal workstream did not identify any insuperable legal impediments under existing US legal frameworks that would prevent the establishment of an RLN system as contemplated in the PoC.

The working group has not committed to future phases connected to the PoC but says that the findings highlight areas for further research and analysis.

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