Different Approaches to Digital Currency


The emerging issues of CBDC 

Central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a digital form of fiat currency issued by a country’s central bank. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the development of CBDC has gained speed and is currently in the testing and modelling phase in several countries. As the first global stablecoins, CBDC and Facebook’s Libra (now rebranded as Diem) will increasingly be used domestically and internationally in the future. China is piloting CBDC and is likely to be the first major economy to issue it. The digital dollar and digital Euro are also being discussed while the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is exploring CBDC and its implications.

Digital currency, including CBDC and Libra, involves not only monetary instruments and payment, but also data and identity. It will profoundly affect financial regulation, commercial banking, payment, FinTech(including applications and software), possibly all businesses and the public. There are many new issues ranging from security and privacy to data flow. What are the different approaches to CBDC and Libra? What does it mean for the regulators, businesses, the general public and other stakeholders? What is the future of business in the digital currency era? How can we reap the benefits and address the challenges?

About the workshop 

As a leader in the field of CBDC, UNSW Law & Justice’s Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law Centre (CIBEL) has contributed in the discussion and research on digital currency by having several grants, award-winning research output, and events on CBDC since January 2018, including a CBDC workshop hosted by CIBEL in November 2018 (watch online).

Following the developments and changes in the post-pandemic context, this workshop co-hosted by CIBEL and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) explored cutting-edge issues about CBDC. This workshop provided a platform for discussions of major opportunities, challenges of CBDC and provide solutions. By looking into some latest approaches to digital currency, such as China’s approach to CBDC, the workshop focussed on the audience's understanding of this novel area from a legal perspective.

This event was supported by UNSW-Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) Collaborative Research Fund “China’s New Approach to Currency: Central Bank Digital Currency as a Game Changer in World Economy?” led by Profs Heng Wang (UNSW) and Wei Shen (SJTU). 

Note: The speech of Mr Chris Thompson, Deputy Head of Payments Policy, Reserve Bank of Australia, is only available to livestream.


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