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Reserve Bank of Australia still researching the CBDC it says it doesn’t need

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The Reserve Bank of Australia has revealed it’s continuing to research a central bank digital currency (CBDC) less than a month after stating that there was no need for one.

The RBA also revealed it is considering the possibility of a more targeted “wholesale” CBDC.

Speaking at the University of Western Australia Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Fintech Conference, Tony Richards — the Head of Payments Policy at the RBA — stated:

“We will be continuing to consider the case for a CBDC, including how it might be designed, the potential benefits and policy implications, and the conditions in which significant demand for a CBDC might emerge.”

Richards added that the public policy case for issuing a general purpose or retail CBDC in Australia is still to be made. According to reports in mid-September, the RBA was highly skeptical and did not believe there was a strong policy case for issuing a CBDC at the time.

Richards added that while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are based on public blockchains, this would not necessarily be the case for a CBDC which may be developed using a permissioned and centralized digital ledger.

The RBA is also looking at a number of factors that could help shape a potential CBDC, continued Richards, such as whether it would be account-based or token-based, and whether it could be used offline.

Richards also revealed that separate to the central bank’s work monitoring cases for a retail CBDC, it is conducting research on the technological and policy implications of a potential wholesale CBDC which would be accessible to a more limited range of financial entities.

Richards stated that the Bank has an open mind on CBDCs and will continue to monitor developments in this area, adding;

“If some jurisdictions do move towards full implementations of CBDC, there will be many central banks like us who will be closely watching,”

The comments come as China ramps up its own digital currency/electronic payment (DCEP) testing by distributing a total of 10 million digital yuan ($1.5 million) to Shenzhen residents.



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DeFi and NFT crossover project Aavegotchi releases ‘Gotchiverse’ litepaper

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One of the original decentralized finance and nonfungible token (DeFi/NFTs) crossover projects is taking a step forward today with the launch of a metaverse litepaper.

Aavegotchi — a project that creates upgradeable NFTs backed by yield-bearing positions on lending platform and money market Aave — announced the publication of a litepaper devoted to a gamified metaverse called the “Gotchiverse.”

Aavegotchi co-founder Jesse Johnson joked about the sometimes-esoteric features and backstory in the litepaper on a celebratory Twitter Spaces today:

“This is not your typical litepaper, it’s got a lot of lore in it […] We’ve got a bit of a DeFi RPG in front of us.”

The metaverse will introduce a new, fungible ERC-20 token, the “Gotchus Alchemica,” which will be farmable from REALM land plots, themselves backed as NFTs — similar conceptually to Decentraland’s MANA/LAND two-token system. 

Alchemica can be used to craft upgrades to REALM plots, including structures like the “Gotchi Lodge,” which will enable groups of players to socialize as well as combine their farming efforts. Upgrades will take a “certain number of blockchain blocks to finish constructing,” but liquidity providers to Aavegotchi’s in-house AMM, the “Gotchus Alchemica Exchange,” can hasten the process with rewards for providing liquidity.

This gamified yield farming is woven into the Gotchiverse’s considerable lore and backstory — about a third of the 14-page litepaper is devoted to storytelling and fleshing out the universe. The antagonists of the game, the Liquidators, refer to actual liquidators on the lending platform Aave, and the universe is speckled with DeFi in-jokes — a “home base” area of the map is called the “Citaadel,” and types of Alchemica include “Fud,” “Kek,” and “Fomo.”

RELATED: Aavegotchis sell out in under one minute as NFT euphoria continues

Aside from the farming gameplay, Johnson said the map will be “a huge game of Pac-Man,” where Aavegotchi run/float around the map to collect Alchemica and return it to their REALMs before getting caught by Liquidators, which may be player-characters as well as AI. 

A full release date for the Gotchiverse is pending, though Johnson said sections will be released as early as Q3 2021. Johnson added that the team has grown to 20 full-time employees, including veteran video game industry talent.

While Johnson has long been a bannercarrier for DeFi and NFT crossovers, interest in metaverses has been picking up as of late. This month, Nvidia’s CEO said that we’re on the “cusp” of a blockchain-powered metaverse, and the founder of major gaming title Fortnite said that metaverse tech is “going places.”