Mastercard Unlocks CBDC Interoperability in Latest Pilot

Last Updated October 13th 2023
3 Min Read

Key Takeaways -

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia and Mastercard's pilot program successfully demonstrated how a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) can operate across multiple blockchains.
  • Mastercard's platform features robust security measures, including stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, ensuring only authorized parties can interact with the pilot CBDC.
  • The pilot leverages Mastercard's Multi-Token Network, aiming to foster blockchain interoperability and is currently being tested globally with select financial institutions.


Mastercard, a global leader in payment processing, has wrapped up a pilot program that could redefine the way we use Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). This groundbreaking initiative is in partnership with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Center (DFCRC).

Project Overview

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) took a significant and bold step in the world of digital finance by issuing a limited-scale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) specifically for this groundbreaking experiment. But make no mistake, this isn't just any run-of-the-mill digital currency; it serves as a legal claim on the Reserve Bank of Australia itself. A select group of industry players, carefully chosen for their expertise and influence in the field, used this unique digital asset to delve into its potential. They explored how it could offer innovative and cutting-edge payment solutions not just to Australian households but also to businesses operating in the country.

Security Measures

The platform is designed with robust controls to ensure transactional integrity. Only parties that have cleared Know Your Customer (KYC) checks and have been vetted by licensed entities can interact with the pilot CBDC.

What It Means for You

Richard Wormald, the division president of Australasia at Mastercard, emphasized the growing demand for cross-blockchain commerce. This technology doesn't just offer more choices; it's a catalyst for collaboration between public and private sectors in the digital currency arena.

Live Demonstration

Live Demonstration

Mastercard showcased the platform's capabilities by purchasing a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) on the Ethereum network. The process involved locking the required amount of the pilot CBDC and minting an equivalent amount of wrapped CBDC tokens on Ethereum.

Platform Capabilities

Before any transaction could proceed, Ethereum wallets had to be "allow-listed" within the platform. This feature demonstrates the platform's ability to enforce strict controls, even on public blockchains.

Mastercard's Multi-Token Network

This pilot program is intricately built on Mastercard's Multi-Token Network, a beta solution that is currently under rigorous testing. Its primary aim is to foster blockchain interoperability on a grand scale. To ensure its effectiveness and reliability, it's being put through its paces with select financial institutions on a global scale, thereby adding another layer of credibility to this ambitious project.

Read More: