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Bank of England opens applications for ‘proof of concept’ CBDC wallet

The bank requires the wallet to execute basic features such as transacting value and requesting payments and set its budget at nearly $255,000.

The Bank of England (BOE) is seeking a “proof of concept” for a wallet that will be able to hold a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

On Dec. 9, the BOE posted a request for applications on the United Kingdom government’s Digital Marketplace, a service where government organizations can solicit work for digital projects.

Simple guidelines for what the proof-of-concept wallet would have to achieve were outlined, with the wallet seemingly only needing to offer basic functionality such as a signup process, a way to update details, and show balances and transactions amongst other requirements such as displaying notifications.

Of course, the wallet also has to demonstrate it can be loaded and unloaded with a CBDC along with being able to request peer-to-peer payments through an account ID or QR code and can be used to pay online with businesses.

Key deliverables for the project are to create a mobile app for iOS and Android, a website for the wallet, an example merchant website and the back-end infrastructure to serve the wallet website and apps while also storing user data and transaction history.

“No work has been done” on a CBDC sample wallet the bank said, and it “will not develop a user wallet itself.”

The stated aims of the project are to “explore the end-to-end user journey” as the BOE seeks to “sharpen functional requirements for both the Bank and private sector” along with making the CBDC product “more tangible for internal and external stakeholders.”

A budget of $244,500, or 200,000 British pounds, for an expected five-month project was set for the proof-of-concept with the BOE slated to evaluate five suppliers. There were no applications at the time of writing.

The BOE has previously stated it is seeking to launch a CBDC by at least 2030.

The sample wallet is supportive of the BOE’s work as part of Project Rosalind, a joint experiment it’s carrying out with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub aimed at creating prototypes of an application programming interface (API) for a CBDC. The proof-of-concept wallet will also be test implemented with the Rosalind API.

On Dec. 9, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, shared a number of reformsto Britain’s financial services sector which included consulting on proposals for the establishment of a CBDC.

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