Is the U.S. government and Federal Reserve further along in development of a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) than they’re publicly admitting?
Project New Dawn might provide some clues.
The initiative describes itself as an independent effort to develop a practical technical and regulatory pathway to an official U.S. CBDC:
“The mission is to lead a conversation and engagement that ultimately delivers a technical reference model with regulatory and legislative recommendations to reach the un(der)banked with digital cash.”
Though the project claims no official status, the players and entities involved suggest at least some possible influence and relation to authorities that may decide the future path and progress of a CBDC.
Microsoft and Hedera Hashgraph are both part of Project New Dawn, partnering with EMTECH, a company which specializes in providing solutions to countries seeking to implement CBDC currencies.
This past June, EMTECH CEO Camille Cadet testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services and Task Force on Financial Technology, concerning digitizing the dollar via blockchain technology.
Cadet worked for more than 10 years at IBM, and specialized there in blockchain services.
Cadet told the House committee that “Digital Cash issued by the central bank can reflect and strengthen American values implicit in sovereign control of currency, while enhancing the competitiveness of the U.S. currency as well as U.S. financial technology.”
Cadet laid out a strategy she said U.S. authorities should consider, given the speed at which competitors are moving. It included working with proven green technologies that were highly secure, and following a development path where the system could be thoroughly tested and vetted.
“The era of central bank innovation is here,” Cadet told House members. “The use of distributed ledger technologies (DLT / Blockchain), Application Programming Interface (APIs), and Data Analytics offer central banks new tools to be effective regulators and collaborators in innovation.”
Innovation vs Sound Policy
Central banks were clearly caught off guard by the rise and the utility of cryptocurrencies.
A generation of tech savvy developers and users have created a new world of finance, investing, transactions and remittances that have cut out traditional institutions, and as of 2021, everybody has finally taken notice.
The bleeding edge of liquidity pools on web3 DeFi exchanges, community driven “drops” of tokens and NFT pop-ups is so far beyond what most pols and traditional finance players grasp about the new financial culture, it’s mind-boggling.
But the path has been blazed, and financial institutions and governments now know they can’t remain on what are increasingly the sidelines of innovative transactional activity.
Among major economic powers, China has been the most aggressive in implementing its digital Yuan. This past week, there was more news of rollouts in different provinces.
The U.S., in contrast, has been circumspect, and even cryptic in conveying its own intentions regarding a digital dollar.
In that light, Project New Dawn appears, at very least, to be positioning itself to offer a practical path for the design and implementation of an official U.S. CBDC.
Its official advisory staff includes the likes of Diane R. Maurice, former supervisor of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco and member of the Federal Reserve of NY. 
The technical partnerships of the project are also formidable. Hedera Hashgraph already leads the enterprise space in decentralized, distributed ledger technology. It features one of the most uniquely innovative technologies, offering tokenization, Defi and NFT capabilities without the need for smart contracts, on a highly secure consensus network boasting blazing transaction speeds and extremely efficient energy consumption.
Microsoft and Hedera already are partnered in Hyperledger projects, and both companies have the requisites needed to build a world-class CBDC.
But despite the optimistic talk, Project New Dawn is really only about providing a sound technical and practical structure on which an official U.S. digital currency could work.
The monetary policies, data analytics that might potentially track and surveill users and transactions, and many other aspects of a potential CBDC, are another matter entirely.
And meanwhile, many of that generation of cyber punks who are relatively lightyears ahead of traditional finance in their activities and innovating, have no desire to be part of anything that smells like “normie” or “boomer” finance, no matter how it’s digitally dressed up.
At the very least, a shadow system of crypto seems here to stay, no matter what Project New Dawn is proposing for the future.

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