The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is looking to hire a new director of product management to run its central bank digital currency, dubbed “Project Hamilton.”
According to a job posting on LinkedIn posted on Saturday, the CBDC development manager will manage and test software to continue efforts to create a “hypothetical” CBDC.
The product manager will work closely with senior engineers and researchers at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) “to create an open source CBDC research platform,” said Robert Bench, associate vice president, in an article .
First announced in August 2020, CBDC research is a collaborative effort between the Boston Fed and the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Fed and digital dollar
Establishing a digital dollar has been part of the Fed’s plan for over a year. The organization announced on May 21 that it would launch a research paper, slated for release late in the third quarter, examining the policy issues surrounding a digital dollar. “The Fed is working proactively to decide whether to issue a CBDC and, if so, in what form,” President Jerome Powell said in testimony to Congress last year.
With Project Hamilton in its infancy, the Fed is trying to resolve potential issues before diving deeper into the process. To date, no decision has been taken on whether to issue a CBDC in the country.
The digital dollar is late
This means that the Federal Reserve is joining a growing list of central banks around the world to consider a CBDC, but in fact is being left behind. China, for example, is taking the lead and testing its digital Yuan. The People’s Bank of China e-CNY is in its pilot phase.
Other countries, such as the Swedish central bank’s digital currency, the electronic crown, are still in testing, while the Bahamas and Nigeria have already introduced their sand dollar and e-Naira respectively.
According to a CBDC tracker from the US think tank Atlantic Council, more than 85 countries and jurisdictions are currently researching or deploying their own digital currencies.
“Of the countries with the 4 largest central banks (the United States, the euro area, Japan and the United Kingdom), the United States is the furthest behind,” the results noted.
Along with Project Hamilton, the US is also testing the Digital Dollar Project, led by former US regulators and executives at consulting firm Accenture. This private effort, separate from the Federal Reserve’s own CBDC research, has announced plans to launch the first five pilots to assess different aspects of a digital dollar.