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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

NY Fed to participate in proof-of-concept shared ledger project

Federal Issues Digital Assets Federal Reserve Bank of New York Fintech Distributed Ledger

Federal Issues

On November 15, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that the New York Innovation Center (NYIC) will participate in a proof-of-concept project to explore the feasibility of an interoperable network of central bank wholesale digital money and commercial bank digital money operating on a shared multi-entity distributed ledger. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the NYIC was launched in 2021 to advance the partnership with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub. The NYIC is intended to, among other things: (i) identify and develop insights on financial technology trends associated to central banks; (ii) examine the development of public goods to increase the global financial system function; and (iii) “advance and support expertise in the area of central bank innovation.” According to the recent announcement, the U.S. proof-of-concept project is exploring the concept of a regulated liability network and will “test the technical feasibility, legal viability, and business applicability of distributed ledger technology to settle the liabilities of regulated financial institutions through the transfer of central bank liabilities.” The New York Fed noted that the NYIC will coordinate with private sector organizations to provide a public contribution to the body of knowledge on the application of new technology to the regulated financial system as part of the 12-week project. The New York Fed also noted that the project will be conducted in a test environment, and the results of the pilot project will be released to the public.