The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston today announced a multiyear collaboration with the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to perform technical research related to a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The research project will explore the use of existing and new technologies to build and test a hypothetical digital currency platform. The Boston Fed and MIT have structured the research collaboration into work phases that extend over two to three years. The first phase will involve jointly building and testing a hypothetical central bank digital currency for wide-scale, general purpose use. The objective in this phase will be to determine how to architect a scalable, accessible cryptographic platform to meet the needs of a theoretical U.S. dollar CBDC, including stringent design requirements for speed, security, privacy and resiliency. In later phases, researchers will assess technology trade-offs by coding and testing various architectures, to see how they impact the CBDC’s design goals. The research results will be published jointly with MIT, and the code would be licensed as open-source software, so anyone can use or continue experimenting with it. In parallel to the work with researchers at MIT, the Boston Fed will independently evaluate other systems to understand their potential pros and cons in supporting a central bank digital currency. Before any CBDC could be issued, a separate, extensive policy process would be required.