Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and MIT announced On December 22, they announced the completion of their CBDC research effort, Project Hamilton.
This initiative aimed to explore the technical feasibility of a Central Bank Digital Currency or CBDC. Such assets are tied to the value of the US dollar and issued by central banks. For the US, it’s probably issued by the Federal Reserve.
Project Hamilton also aimed to develop software that could process CBDC transactions. Neha Narula, director of the Digital Currency Initiative, said:
The OpenCBDC codebase resulting from this successful collaboration [Project Hamilton] It provides a trusted and impartial resource for evaluating design choices and ensuring that potential future CBDCs serve the public interest.
Jim Cunha, executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, added that the project aims to be agnostic to future stablecoin policy developments in the United States.
Project Hamilton has been ongoing since its inception in 2020.
In February 2022, the research team announced the first results of the project and released a white paper along with the OpenCBDC software. At the time, OpenCBDC was said to be able to process 1.7 million transactions per second.
According to today’s announcement, the software has a slightly higher throughput of 1.84 million transactions per second. Additionally, researchers have added new features such as programmability and audit support since the last announcement. The team plans to release more information in the future.
Despite its success, the Hamilton Plan has come under scrutiny from lawmakers. Earlier this month, members of Congress wrote a letter suggesting that other companies involved in Project Hamilton could gain an unfair advantage in his CBDC space.
As such, Project Hamilton may be overshadowed by more formal government projects, such as the Federal Reserve’s ongoing digital dollar research.
However, the United States ultimately has no definitive plans for a CBDC. This means Project Hamilton may be given room to grow despite its challenges.