MasterCard recently launched a Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Testing Platform to enable Central Banks around the world to explore digital currencies. The virtual testing platform allows Central Banks to cross-examine strategies for CBDCs by inducing a CBDC ecosystem ahead of implementation.
Following the global economic race to adopt digital currencies, Central Banks are looking to determine how to support innovation while maintaining financial stability. Moreover, 80% of central banks are already into some form of CBDCs work, and about 40% have recorded tangible progress. The MasterCard virtual testing platform will enable the simulation, distribution, and exchange of CBDCs between banks and financial service providers. The platform will also help determine interoperability with existing payment rails for consumers and businesses.
MasterCard payment ecosystem
So far, MasterCard has been operating multiple payment systems to ensure that no one is left out. These systems are available to banks, businesses, and mobile network providers. The Executive Vice President of Digital Asset, Blockchain Products, and Partnerships in Mastercard, Raj Dhamodharan, asserts that central banks have improved their exploration of digital currencies with different objectives, including modernizing the payment ecosystem.
He added that Mastercard is working with partners who share similar values to ensure the full exploration of CBDCs. Also, the Head of Blockchain, Digital Assets, and Data Policy at the World Economic Forum, Sheila Warren, confirmed the collaborations between the public and private sectors in the utilization of CBDCs.
Central Bank Digital Currencies
CBDCs are designed to be equivalent in value to a nation’s paper currency and subject to the same government. In addition to printing money, central banks can issue CBDCs as a digital representation of a country’s fiat currency. Central banks can also issue and distribute these currencies via commercial banks and other authorized payment providers.
Furthermore, the exploration of CBDCs will not be the same in all central banks because of the underlying differences. But the virtual platform (Mastercard) can be customized to fit into the environment the central bank operates. This customization will enable Central banks to instigate a CBDC exchange ecosystem. And the ecosystem will determine how a CBDC interacts with existing payment networks. Also, to help central banks explore CBDCs well, there must be a detailed description or lecture on how consumers can pay for goods and services anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
In all, Mastercard aims to build a sustainable environment for easy access to financial services. The platform is also using secure data, partnerships, and networks to unlock opportunities and provide solutions to existing financial issues.