Project Rosalind has shown how a well-designed API layer can integrate with various private sector apps and central bank ledger designs, as well as how a set of straightforward and standardized API features can enable a wide variety of use cases
There are numerous challenges that central banks need to investigate in order to develop a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) system, including: How can public-private sector collaboration be strengthened? How can interoperability be increased, competitiveness fostered, and adoption made possible? How can retail CBDC adapt to the rapidly changing payments landscape to suit the demands of present and future consumers?
Project Rosalind, run by the London Centre of the Innovation Hub, seeks to provide some of the answers to these queries. Rosalind Franklin, a British scientist whose research was crucial to understanding DNA sequencing, is honoured by the project’s name.
Project Rosalind has shown how a well-designed API layer can integrate with various private sector apps and central bank ledger designs, as well as how a set of straightforward and standardised API features can enable a wide variety of use cases.
In a collaborative experiment using central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the BIS Innovation Hub London Centre and the Bank of England studied more than 30 retail CBDC use cases and produced 33 API functions.
A wide variety of payment methods, including near-field communication, point-of-sale, QR codes, mobile phones, smartcards, biometric devices, and interactions with smart assistants and point-of-sale systems, were examined, as well as conducting retail CBDC payments online, in shops, and offline. Micropayments and private sector programmability were also topics of several of the use cases.
The project examined how a global and extendable API layer could be created to link infrastructures in the public and private sectors, enable payments in CBDCs, and foster innovation. It was built on a two-tier CBDC paradigm where the private sector provides user-facing services while the central bank issues CBDC and manages the ledger infrastructure.