ITU Workshop on Standardizing Digital Fiat Currency

David Wen, Chief Scientist, eCurrency and Chairman, ITU Focus Group DFC


The second International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Workshop on Standardizing Digital Fiat Currency (DFC) and Applications was held at the Cornell University Bloomberg Tech Campus in New York City, 18 – 20 July 2018.


Joined by Bilel Jamoussi, ITU-TSB and Robert Hockett, Cornell Law School, David Wen, chairman of the ITU Focus Group on DFC, welcomed the participants in his opening remarks, with an update of what the Focus Group has achieved since the first conference in Beijing last October.


David Wen, Chairman, ITU FG DFC


More than 20 central banks around the world have joined the Focus Group only eight months after its kick-off, joining experts from academia, industry, and international organization practitioners, to form the world's most extensive platform and highest level of gathering of global experts working on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), Wen said.


Representatives of central banks from the US, China, Brazil, Egypt, Sweden, Norway and the Philippines shared their perspectives on DFC and answered questions about their various countries’ roles in the DFC ecosystem, approach to regulation, and status of implementations.


Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, formerly U.S. Deputy Secretary of Treasury and Governor of the Federal Reserve Board NY, offered a historical perspective on the rise and proliferation of crypto currencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and the various ways in which the United States is looking their potential impact and influence.



Sarah Raskin, Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury


As ITU FG DFC members heard in the inaugural meeting in Beijing, China has been leading the world in the research and design of a DFC solution since 2014. Yao Qian, Vice Director General of the Technology Department, and Director of the Institute of Digital Money, PBOC shared the detailed functions and architecture of the Chinese central bank's two-layer model for DFC.


Gabriela Guibourg, Head of Analysis and Policy Division from Riksbank Sweden, described the eKrona project, which has attracted 33 Fintech companies through a global RFP process. A decision on which solutions may be selected to pilot will be reached toward the end of 2018.


Joey Mendoza, a pioneer of e-money presented remarks from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), who are engaged in an ongoing implementation called the ePiso project. The project is using eCurrency technology within the confines of a BSP regulatory sandbox.


Margarita Lopez, First Senior Vice President of RCBC, presented a compelling case on how DFC technology can be used to enhance security and provide an efficient and interoperable settlement solution among many micro-loan as well as a vast array of vendor networks.


Both Brazilian and Egyptian central banks described their case studies on DFC with detailed plans for how their countries are considering future implementations and their regulatory implications.


Legal and economics experts from Bank of International Settlement, IMF, Gates Foundation, Federal Reserve of New York, U.S. Department of Treasury, professors from Stanford, University of California Berkeley, Cornell Law, and St Mary’s University held round table discussions with live debate and discussions on these central bank projects and technologies.


David Chaum, the father of DigiCash, Joey Mendoza who created the first mobile wallet in the Philippines, and Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, former Governor of Central Bank of Kenya who made mPesa the most successful mobile payment system in the world, shared a spirited exchange: sharing their experiences of pioneering breakthrough technologies for the past 25 years while providing advice on how to successfully promote, deploy and manage a digital revolution.



The three-day conference was jointly hosted by the ITU-TSB, the Clarke Program on Law & Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets at Cornell Law School, and the Digital Fiat Currency Institute of San Francisco. The Workshop was held in conjunction with proceedings of the second meeting of the ITU FG DFC and meetings of the FG DFC Working Groups: Regulatory Requirements & Economic Impact, Reference Architecture & Ecosystem, and Security.

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