The national flag of Israel. Shutterstock
During a recent conference of the Fair Value Forum of IDC Herzliya, Bank of Israel Deputy Governor Andrew Abir said that a digital shekel pilot test has already been carried out. Abir also confirmed that the country’s central bank has issued a digital version of its national currency, but remained skeptical about its prospective launch. According to The Jerusalem Post, Abir said that there was “less than a 50% chance” of Israel issuing a digital shekel in the next five years.
And while Abir hasn’t revealed any details about the trial the Bank of Israel has carried out, a source close to the matter revealed that the internal pilot project was carried out on Ethereum. The Globes reported that the central bank has issued an ERC-20 token based on Ethereum and has set up digital wallets. The wallets enabled members of the bank’s IT department to transfer valueless digital shekels to each other.
The source noted that no real money was involved during the trial and the use of Ethereum was limited to a closed network and was “in no way connected to the general Ethereum network or its cryptocurrency.” Similar closed-off networks are being used in other central bank digital currency trials around the world, including in Australia, Hong Kong, and Thailand.