The Bank of England (BoE) is edging closer to the launch of its central bank digital currency, known as "Britcoin," following the completion of a trial study called Project Rosalind.
In collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the BoE initiated this joint experiment in July 2022 to explore the implementation of application programming interfaces (APIs) in retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) transactions.
The report summarizing phase two of Project Rosalind, released on June 16, highlighted the potential of a CBDC to enhance the efficiency and affordability of peer-to-peer payments, while also enabling businesses to develop new financial products that combat fraudulent activities.
The study focused on developing 33 API functionalities and exploring over 30 use cases for retail CBDCs. In addition to examining CBDC usage on smartphones, retail vendors, and online stores, the research also investigated the concept of "programmability," which involves customizing digital currency behavior based on predefined conditions.
Although CBDC programmability has faced skepticism due to concerns about potential misuse, the study concluded that a well-designed API layer could enable a central bank to safely collaborate with the private sector in providing retail CBDC payments. This innovation was regarded as significant progress by Francesca Road, the head of the BIS London Innovation Hub.
Despite the positive findings from Project Rosalind, BoE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe stated that a final decision on launching a CBDC in the country is still several years away. However, Cunliffe noted that the chances of a CBDC project moving forward currently stand at seven out of ten, as reported on June 16 by Bloomberg.
Coinciding with the release of the Project Rosalind findings, Quant Network, an enterprise blockchain firm, announced its involvement as a vendor in the study. This announcement resulted in a more than 20% surge in the price of Quant's native QNT token within a 12-hour period, climbing from $96 to $117.