Alec Burns on CG Backstage

CBDCs beyond digital currencies: Alec Burns talks sovereign nodes on CoinGeek Backstage

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At a time when central bank digital currencies (CBDC) have become one of the biggest debates in the global financial arena, Dr. Craig Wright’s latest The Bitcoin Masterclasses delved into sovereign nodes and how CBDCs can go beyond digital currencies. Alec Burns was at the Bitcoin Masterclasses, and he tells CoinGeek Backstage that programming CBDCs can give them extra utility beyond simple payments.

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“These Masterclasses are incredible. You learn a lot in such a short time. Craig is so insightful, and he’s thinking about things that most people won’t be thinking about for the next 10-15 years,” the nChain product analyst manager told CoinGeek Backstage reporter Becky Liggero.

In The Bitcoin Masterclasses #7, Dr. Wright delved into sovereign nodes and how they can make it easier for governments to adopt blockchain technology. These nodes would be specific to their jurisdiction, giving the authorities some control over the transactions. The topic is timely as nChain partners with the Filipino government to integrate blockchain into the public sector.

For most people, a CBDC is nothing more than a digital representation of their sovereign currency. But what if it could be much more? This was the challenge that Dr. Wright posed to the attendees, who grouped up to discuss how a CBDC can offer more than a mere means of payment.

Burns’ group discussed how central banks can “add a degree of intelligence to CBDC transactions.” CBDCs can be programmed to require age verification while making payments for certain items like alcohol. They can also be programmed to have limits on transactions, such as requiring KYC verification for purchases beyond a certain threshold, say $10,000. With the entire payment history of any item logged on the blockchain, traceability would be easy, giving customers more confidence in the items they purchase.

Burns is passionate about Web3 and hosts “Untangling Web3,” a podcast series that dissects the new era of the internet.

“Web3 is a big word. It means a lot of things to a lot of people. The idea is to make Web3 tangible and practical…defining Web3 and the actual benefits it will have to everyday people,” he stated.

To learn more about central bank digital currencies and some of the design decisions that need to be considered when creating and launching it, read nChain’s CBDC playbook.

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.