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Boston Fed and MIT launch open-source CBDC project



The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announce the launch of a CBDC project the organizations have been working on, Project Hamilton. Boston Fed shared the news on its website explaining how and when Project Hamilton started.

Boston Fed. is one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks in the US. Others are located in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. 

It’s tasked with managing monetary policies, supervising member banks, and developing important financial services, amongst other duties to Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and parts of Connecticut.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the world’s most renowned universities that has pioneered several global initiatives, such as the MIT Energy Initiative, MIT Global Poverty Initiative, and MIT Digital Currency Initiative.

The development of Project Hamilton

According to the Boston Fed., Project Hamilton started in 2020, and two years later, a whitepaper describing OpenCBDC was launched by the two organizations. The whitepaper contained details of research findings on the functionalities and modalities of CBDCs.

“OpenCBDC is a core processing engine for money that focuses on security, performance, scalability, and flexibility,” Boston Fed said. The team made it an open-source project to allow other persons and organizations to participate in the development of a CBDC framework that can benefit the world.

Neha Narula, director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, explained that the OpenCBDC presents a transparent framework to check the design choices for the development of future CBDCs.

Development of CBDCs around the world

Since the popularity of digital assets, especially cryptocurrencies, grew around the world, several central banks have taken steps to start research and consultations toward launching a CBDC for their respective nation or region. 

Nigeria, Bahama, India, Jamaica, and the seven nations in the Eastern Caribbean Union are the countries that have launched a CBDC. Then more than 90% of the countries in the world have shown interest in designing CBDCs as sole assets owned by the country or as a cross-border tool between two or more nations.

Speaking about the project (Project Hamilton) named after the “Founding Father” of the central bank, Alexander Hamilton, and pioneering MIT and Apollo Mission computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, Bob Bench, Assistant Vice President at Boston Fed. noted that the collaboration was inspired by the need to understand the future of money.

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