The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released the initial findings of their central bank digital currency (CBDC) research this week. This research is separate from the digital dollar research conducted by the Federal Reserve Board. As reported earlier, the Federal Reserve also recently published its long-awaited CBDC report.
Boston Fed and MIT have created a scalable CBDC research model.
The Boston Fed and MIT collaboration, known as Project Hamilton, “focuses on technological experimentation and does not aim to create a usable CBDC for the United States,” the researchers explained. The initiative was announced in 2020. Boston Fed Executive Vice President and Interim Chief Operating Officer Jim Cunha said, “It is critical to understand how emerging technologies could support a CBDC and what challenges remain,” adding: This collaboration between MIT and our technologists has created a scalable CBDC research model that allows us to learn more about these technologies and the choices that should be considered when designing a CBDC.
“The work produced one code base capable of handling 1.7 million transactions per second.”
“The work produced one code base capable of handling 1.7 million transactions per second,” the project whitepaper details. The researchers also released the code for Project Hamilton, OpenCBDC. The open-source code is available on Github for contributions. Neha Narula, director of MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, commented: “There are still many remaining challenges in determining whether or how to adopt a central bank payment system for the United States.”
The announcement further noted, “In the coming years, the second phase of this partnership will allow Project Hamilton to explore alternative technical designs to improve the already robust privacy, resiliency, and functionality of the technology outlined in the first phase.”