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Bank of Israel Launches Digital Shekel CBDC Payment Trials

Key Takeaways

  • The Bank of Israel is developing a digital payment system for its CBDC, the digital shekel;
  • The project involves participants creating real-time CBDC payment solutions using APIs in a sandbox environment;
  • BoI Deputy Governor Andrew Abir believes the digital shekel will gain public support, improve economic competition, and ensure development transparency.
Bank of Israel Launches Digital Shekel CBDC Payment Trials

Israel is advancing its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital shekel, aiming to transform its payment systems.

The Bank of Israel (BoI) has initiated a project to develop a digital payment infrastructure around the digital shekel by partnering with various service providers.

This project draws inspiration from the "Project Rosalind" by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub and the Bank of England, focusing on building prototypes for application programming interfaces.

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In this experiment, participants will use a sandbox environment furnished with application programming interfaces (APIs) to develop real-time CBDC payment solutions for the public.

The process involves three stages: submitting applications and presentations, granting network access to selected projects, and final presentations evaluated by a panel of judges.

A translated explanation by the BoI highlights:

Priority will be given to uses with original and innovative features in the world of payments, whether they are improvements to existing applications or completely new applications. The uses can match the unique needs of a certain population, serve the needs of a certain sector of the economy, or support an innovative application that will serve a wide variety of scenarios.

Shauli Rejwan, managing partner at Masterkey Venture Capital in Tel Aviv, explained that this initiative could encourage collaboration between the Web3 industry and governmental sectors.

BoI Deputy Governor Andrew Abir stated that competition from CBDCs could be beneficial for the economy, potentially prompting banks to offer higher interest rates. Abir is confident that the digital shekel will receive public support, noting the transparency and accountability of its development process, unlike cryptocurrencies created by anonymous developers.

Overall, the initiative demonstrates Israel's aims to innovate the country's digital payments and to build a secure and efficient CBDC ecosystem.

Meanwhile, in the US, the House of Representatives passed the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act to ban the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC

Aaron S., Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.

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