• To assist central banks in minting CBDCs, Softbank-owned LINE has gone open-source

  • LINE PLUS has made a blockchain available for central banks to use to create their own digital currencies. It is now in discussions with a number of Asian central banks.

    CBDCs may be on the verge of widespread acceptance, but the technology behind them is still up for debate. LINE PLUS, a South Korean software and technology services firm owned by Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank, has launched a blockchain platform to assist central banks in launching CBDCs.

    CBDCs are effectively central bank-backed, state-controlled digital currencies, a far cry from early Bitcoin proponents’ concept of a stateless monetary system. They are, however, significant news, and LINE believes they will go viral in Asia. Line said in a news release today that it is talking to central banks in various Asian nations about its open-source CBDC platform, Line Financial Blockchain for CBDCs.

    Each Asian central bank’s definition of a CBDC is distinct, and projects are not equally developed. Cambodia’s CBDC is based on the blockchain and functions similarly to cash, whereas Thailand and Hong Kong are working on a CBDC that allows banks to make cross-border payments. China is by far the most advanced; it is testing its not-a-cryptocurrency digital yuan, which acts as a digital form of cash (to complement its world-leading digital payments networks); others believe China’s recent assault on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is a way of keeping digital currencies under state control. Outside of Asia, numerous banks, including as the Fed and the European Central Bank, are experimenting with digital currencies.

    Cosmos SDK is an open-source platform for creating proof-of-stake blockchains that can natively interoperate with other blockchains, and it is used to develop Line’s blockchain. Line Plus isn’t the first private startup to provide a blockchain solution to central banks interested in issuing CBDCs.

    Ripple, the creators of XRP, said in March that it has constructed a private blockchain for central banks interested in issuing their own CBDCs. With fresh CBDC news emerging every week, there’s reason to believe that crypto’s early libertarian principles are giving way to a state-issued, severely controlled digital economy.

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