Recap of the CBDC Conference 2023
by Digital Euro Association on Sep 22, 2023 9:00:00 AM
The highly anticipated CBDC Conference took place in Istanbul, Turkey, from September 12 to 14, 2023. This premier event dedicated to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) provided a valuable platform for central bank representatives, financial industry experts, technology providers, policymakers, and academics to stay informed about the latest CBDC developments, exchange insights, and promote CBDCs on a global scale.
The Digital Euro Association (DEA) played a prominent role in the conference, contributing to four key sessions: (1) conducting a workshop on CBDC adoption; (2) participating in the Governor’s panel discussion presenting the CBDC from a central bank's perspective; (3) chairing a panel about the importance of digital identity, Web3 and CBDCs, Public digital infrastructure, and a novel approach to banknotes and CBDCs; and (4) chairing a panel about the user-centric design of a CBDC.
If you were unable to attend the CBDC Conference 2023, don't worry; we're here to get you up to speed!
Day 1: CBDC Academy, central banks’ perspectives and more
The initial session of the morning included a diverse range of academic presentations. During this segment, attendees were introduced to several CBDC pilot projects, including those focused on cross-border and offline solutions. Brett Mollin and Antony Welfare, representing Ripple, delved into the importance of incorporating cross-border payment functionality into CBDC design, along with the practical considerations essential for its implementation.
CBDC Academy: Cross-border payments with CBDC | Brett Mollin (Standing Right) and Antony Welfare (Standing Right) - Ripple
Conrad Kraft, Executive Director of the DEA, delivered a thought-provoking presentation that delved into the exploration of the path leading to CBDC adoption. During his talk, he thoroughly examined the trajectory towards CBDC adoption, exploring worldwide implementations and offering valuable insights into aspects such as citizen attitudes, collaborative efforts among stakeholders, educational initiatives, design considerations, and much more.
CBDC Academy: From Concept to Reality: Exploring the path to CBDC adoption | Conrad Kraft - DEA
The afternoon sessions commenced with welcoming remarks from Yüksel Görmez, Executive Director of the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye. This was followed by a panel discussion titled "Governor’s Panel: CBDC from a central bank's perspective". Distinguished representatives from the Banco Central de Chile, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Central Bank of the Bahamas, and the Digital Euro Association engaged in a dynamic exchange of viewpoints on this topic.
Governor’s Panel: CBDC from a central bank's perspective | Conrad Kraft - DEA (Left), Dr. Kingsley Obiora - Central Bank of Nigeria (Centre-Left), John Ho - Standard Chartered Bank (Centre), Alberto Naudon - Banco Central de Chile (Centre-Right), Jermaine Campbell - Central Bank of the Bahamas (Right)
The following sessions were focused on showcasing and deliberating specific projects undertaken by prominent central banks. These included the Central Bank of the Bahamas (Sand Dollar), the Bank of England (Digital Pound), the Norges Bank, the Bank of Jamaica (Jam-Dex), and Sveriges Riksbank (e-krona).
Day 2: Design and policy aspects, breakout sessions and tokenized deposits
On the morning of the second day, the agenda featured presentations addressing the monetary implications of CBDCs, the obstacles faced by ecosystem participants, and their associated value. This was followed by a panel discussion on the design and policy aspects of CBDCs, with participation from distinguished representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, nChain, the Banco Central de Chile, and the Bank of Thailand. The panelists engaged in an in-depth examination of the consequences, hurdles, and optimal approaches concerning the design and policy frameworks for CBDCs.
In the following panel discussion, IMF, IDEMIA, and the World Economic Forum (WEF) explored the topic of financial inclusion, delving into how CBDCs can empower unbanked, enhance access to financial services, and bridge the digital gap. The panel provided valuable insights into inclusive design approaches, regulatory considerations, and the importance of strategic partnerships in promoting financial inclusion through the implementation of CBDCs.
The afternoon sessions were allocated for workshops and breakout sessions, allowing technology solution providers to share insights gained from their experiments with central banks. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) presented case studies related to CBDCs and the tokenization of assets. Additionally, Ripple conducted a live demonstration, showcasing its new CBDC platform for minting, managing, transacting, redeeming and destroying CBDCs or stablecoins.
Following that, presentations were delivered by the National Payment Corporation of Kazakhstan and the Association of German Banks. John Velissarios presented studies conducted by the National Bank of Kazakhstan in the field of CBDCs, focusing on both previous experience and perspective.
Digital Tenge: Overview and further steps | John Velissarios - Otranto Limited
Tobias Tenner talked about the 4th industrial revolution and the inevitable machine-to-machine economy, showing commercial bank money tokens as a possible evolution of today's account-based fiat money.
Tokenized Deposits: The Commercial Bank Money Token as a supplement to CBDC | Tobias Tenner - Association of German Banks
The evening conference program featured a dinner cruise, providing attendees with the chance to mingle with one another amidst a picturesque setting.
UDPN CBDC Conference Dinner Cruise on the Bosphorus Strait
Day 3: Cross-border payments, user-centric design and macroeconomic ecosystem
The final day of the conference began with a series of presentations covering topics such as digital identity, digital public infrastructure, web3, and DUAL - a physical banknote that interacts with a CBDC solution and acts as a transitional device between cash-based and CBDC-based payment systems.
A panel discussion on cross-border payments involving the WEF, the Bank of Israel, and Ripple took place. This panel delved into the complex realm of cross-border transactions, examining how CBDCs could potentially simplify international payments, improve remittance procedures, and enable seamless, borderless transactions. The discussion also shed light on the regulatory hurdles, interoperability frameworks, and the need for central bank collaboration to fully harness the capabilities of CBDCs on a global scale.
Panel discussion: Cross-border payments with CBDC | Yoav Soffer - Bank of Israel (Left), Sandra Waliczek - WEF (Centre-Left), Michael Salmony - Payments Innovation Consulting (Centre-Right), James Wallis - Ripple (Right)
Tamara Ferreira Schmidt, Executive Director of the DEA, engaged in a dialogue on the user-centric design of CBDC alongside representatives from the IMF, R3, the Bank of Canada, and Standard Chartered Bank. These experts collaborated to explore the concept of crafting a CBDC with a user-centered approach, emphasizing considerations such as accessibility, user-friendliness, ease of use for a wide range of users, educational initiatives, and other pertinent factors for delivering a seamless CBDC experience.
Panel discussion: User-centric design of a CBDC | John Ho - Standard Chartered Bank (Left), Ricardo Correia - R3 (Centre-Left), Tamara Ferreira Schmidt - DEA (Centre), Lariza Galindo - IMF (Centre-Right), Scott Hendry - Bank of Canada (Right)
The afternoon sessions kicked off with a conceptual panel addressing the macroeconomic ecosystem for CBDCs. Representatives from the IMF, Bank of Zambia, Payments Innovation Consulting, and Banco Central del Uruguay delved into the essential components needed for CBDCs to flourish within the broader economic context. They explored the economic implications, monetary policy considerations, and fiscal frameworks necessary to support the successful integration of CBDCs.
The concluding presentations centered on wholesale CBDCs and the development of an interoperable payment infrastructure for the digital currencies of the future, often referred to as the universal digital payments network.
Participating in the conference was an amazing experience, filled with enriching discussions and valuable networking opportunities. We eagerly anticipate the next edition!
DEA Team at the CBDC Conference: Conrad Kraft (Left), Tamara Ferreira Schmidt (Centre) and Atakan Kavuklu (Right)
- Collaboration across diverse jurisdictions plays a pivotal role in advancing the objectives of CBDC projects. Practical, real-world applications offer superior learning experiences compared to relying solely on theoretical assumptions.
- The active involvement of the private sector stands as a critical factor in the triumph of CBDC initiatives. Financial institutions, including banks, must adapt their business models to embrace innovation and address the challenges posed by a fragmented market.
- The earlier citizens are integrated into the CBDC development process, the more advantageous it becomes. Mere replication of existing payment methods in a CBDC is insufficient; successful adoption should be propelled by strong value propositions and tangible benefits for the public.
- The demand for education concerning CBDCs is substantial, emanating from both the private and public sectors.
We invite you to discover the DEA initiatives, offering opportunities to acquire valuable knowledge and skills to elevate your expertise. Explore our resources:
Working Groups Paper: https://home.digital-euro-association.de/working-groups
Digital Money Academy: https://home.digital-euro-association.de/digital-money-academy
Digital Euro Conference: https://home.digital-euro-association.de/en-us/digital-euro-conference
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