The Bank of England is looking for a proof of concept for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) sample wallet.
The aims of this project are to:
- Explore the end-to-end user journey as a way to sharpen functional requirements for both the Bank and private sector. Whilst the Bank will not develop a user wallet itself, it may develop payment scheme rules & user experience guidelines, etc, for the private-sector wallet providers, in addition to supporting core CBDC functionality via its ledger and API.
- Make the CBDC product more tangible for internal and external stakeholders, eg. as a prototype for future user testing.
- Support the Bank’s work towards the BIS Innovation Hub’s ‘Project Rosalind’, by testing integration of a front-end with the Rosalind API. Details of Project Rosalind will be shared with the successful bidder.
- Support future exploration of further functionality which is out of scope here, eg. offline payments or KYC processes for new users.
To enable end-to-end customer wallet journey, the PoCs will demonstrate: Wallet management, payments, advanced functionality, and innovation time allowance to demonstrate other functionality.
The bid process comes as Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced a package of 30 regulatory reforms for UK financial services, including the creation of a digital pound, on Friday. The BoE will take applications through December 23.
The bank has never worked on a prototype wallet for a possible CBDC. The initial five-month contract has a budget of 200,000 pounds.
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