Members of the U.S. banking community have launched a proof of concept (PoC) project that will explore the viability of an interoperable digital money platform known as the regulated liability network (RLN).
The proposed platform would look to utilise distributed ledger technology (blockchain is a type of DLT) to create innovative opportunities to improve financial settlements. Central banks and commercial banks of various sizes are looking to participate, alongside regulated non-banks.
In the 12-week PoC project, commercial banks will test a version of the RLN that operates exclusively in U.S. dollars and allows them to issue digital money or “tokens” which represent the deposits of their own customers. These could then be settled via simulated central bank reserves on a shared distributed ledger.
It is important to note that the project will be conducted in a test environment and only use simulated data. The release clarifies that “It is not intended to advance any specific policy outcome, nor is it intended to signal that the Federal Reserve will make any imminent decisions about the appropriateness of issuing a retail or wholesale CBDC, nor how one would necessarily be designed.”
In addition to the New York Innovation Center (NYIC), project participants include BNY Mellon, Citi, HSBC, Mastercard, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Truist, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.