Boston Fed’s Project Hamilton Concludes as MIT Scheduled to Release Report in 2023
The two-year Hamilton project run by the US Federal Reserve Bank in Boston in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ended days before the Christmas holiday. The project started in early 2021 to explore the technical viability of the US digital dollar – CBDC.
Conclusion of Hamilton Project
The vice president of Boston’s Fed, Jim Cunha, lauded the Project Hamilton team for its input in publishing the white paper on central bank digital currency. The Fed official noted that the project successfully created in-depth information on how digital currencies could work better.
Cunha restated that the importance of Project Hamilton in publishing the white paper in February aided in the development of open-source research software identified as OpenCBDC. However, the executive vice president admitted that the OpenCBDC only succeeded in utilizing the distributed ledger technology version.
Project Hamilton’s Achievements
Cunha celebrated Project Hamilton’s success in finalizing the digital dollar privacy and programmability research besides the scrutiny on its interoperability and auditability. His sentiments drew reference to the Boston Fed announcement on December 22 that the researchers will lap the study by conveying other retrospectives on the digital dollar findings in 2023. The announcement supported official MIT’s communication on December 9 confirming the plans by the digital currency initiative team to convey the research findings on January 12 next year.
The Boston Fed’s announcement on December 22 confirmed the progressive execution of the OpenCBDC initiative to realize a throughput rate of accommodating 1.84 million transactions every second. Cunha observed that the non-blockchain version in February indicated to process 1.7 million transactions every second. It dwarfed the blockchain-based performance that was processing 170000 transactions every second.
Concerns over Private Entities’ Involvement in Hamilton Project
The Fed’s vice president admitted receiving a letter of inquiry from US legislators questioning the visibility of Project Hamilton. Led by Representative Tom Emmer, the lawmakers wrote on December 1 to the Boston Fed head Susan Collins expressing concern on the poor visibility displayed in Project Hamilton by excluding the private sector representatives.
The legislators’ letter questioned the extent of involving the private sector representatives. In particular, the letter expressed concerns about whether the private participants would receive favorable treatment in the CBDC development.
In addition, they sought written clarification on the privacy approach during the project. While the letter failed to identify private participants in Project Hamilton, the inquisitive nature echoed Emmer’s past opposition to CBDCs. In particular, Emmer formulated a bill to prohibit the issuance of CBDC to consumers.
Despite the opposition, the success of Project Hamilton earned DCI a partnership with the Bank of Canada and Bank of England to execute 12-month research on CBDC rollout.
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