New Zealand CBDC Roadmap Progresses to Design Consultation Stage

New Zealand CBDC Roadmap Progresses to Design Consultation Stage

By: Eva Baxter

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has started a new consultation process around a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC). The consultation period, announced on April 17, is looking for insights into possible high-level design options for the digital cash.

This potential digital cash offering would be denominated in New Zealand dollars and could be exchanged for physical cash and other balances. Although it would be issued by the Reserve Bank, it would be the responsibility of the private sector, including banking and payment institutions, to provide these digital currencies to consumers and offer related services.

In addition to facilitating financial inclusion, the proposed CBDC is also aimed at supporting offline transactions, allowing users to make payments via Bluetooth during network outages. A comparison of the CBDC to other growing financial technologies revealed that it may pose less risk to New Zealand's economic and monetary sovereignty than alternatives like cryptocurrencies.

Though still far from launching, with a projected release around 2030, the current consultation period will run until July 26, with additional consultations planned. The design phase and a cost-benefit analysis are slated to continue until 2026.

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