Mastercard announced on Wednesday it has launched a central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) testing platform to enable central banks to assess and explore national digital currencies. According to Mastercard, CBDCs are designed to be equivalent in value to a nation’s paper currency and subject to the same government-backed guarantees. In addition to printing money, central banks can issue CBDCs as a digital representation of a country’s fiat currency.
Mastercard reported that central banks, commercial banks, and tech and advisory firms are invited to partner with Mastercard to assess CBDC tech designs, validate use cases and evaluate interoperability with existing payment rails available for consumers and businesses. While sharing more details about the platform, Raj Dhamodharan, Executive Vice President of Digital Asset and Blockchain Products and Partnerships at Mastercard, stated:
“Mastercard is driving innovation with the public sector, banks, fintechs, and advisory firms in the exploration of CBDCs, working with partners that are aligned to our core values and principles. This new platform supports central banks as they make decisions now and in the future about the path forward for local and regional economies.”
Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain, Digital Assets and Data Policy at the World Economic Forum, added:
“Collaborations between the public and private sectors in the exploration of Central Bank Digital Currencies can help central banks better understand the range of technology possibilities and capabilities available with respect to CBDCs. Central banks can benefit from support in exploring the option set available to them with respect to CBDCs, as well as gaining insight into what opportunities may be forthcoming.”