Blockchain payments platform Roxe hopes to help regulators around the globe with issuing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) through its CBDC Payments Network, the firm said in a blog post on 2 March.
According to the announcement, the new platform will enable central banks around the world to easily issue, manage, and distribute their own digital currencies. Running on top of the Roxe Instant Settlement Network, the platform will also allow CBDCs to interoperate with “every other Roxe network member”, which includes banks, cross-border money transfer firms, and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment networks. The CEO of Roxe, Haohan Xu, said in a statement:
“We’re on a mission to enable financial institutions, especially central banks, to remove barriers of time, geography, and currency so that financial value can move with unprecedented speed at much lower costs anywhere in the world.”
The firm further claimed its network provides a pre-built infrastructure to connect with central, domestic, and foreign banks, allowing them to conduct “faster, less expensive and more reliable cross-border payments”. Launched last year, Roxe hopes to enter the cross-border payments market, as its smart payment technology “automatically uses the best route for the lowest-cost payments”.
Roxe is not the only player trying to enter the CBDC market. Last year, payments giant Mastercard launched a virtual CBDC testing platform with the goal of helping central banks evaluate the effectiveness of their digital currencies design and use cases. Last month, the company also partnered with Island Pay and the Central Bank of the Bahamas to launch a pre-paid card that supports the first CBDC in the world, the Sand Dollar.
Other entities have already started working directly with governments in creating CBDCs. In January, the Stellar Development Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ukrainian government to help them create a “virtual assets ecosystem and national digital currency”.
With all this said, China continues to be the largest economy to soon issue a CBDC. The country has already conducted several real-world tests of its digital yuan — through CBDC lotteries — and has already onboarded two of the largest private banks in China, backed by Tencent and Ant Financial, to expand its user coverage. The country has not only completed its research and produced the first digital yuan hardware wallet, but also expanded its digital yuan trial with the addition of CBDC ATMs around the city of Shenzhen.