Project Aurum 2.0: Improving privacy for retail CBDC payment

The BIS Innovation Hub Hong Kong centre has launched the second phase of Project Aurum, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. After testing the feasibility of a technological stack that integrates a wholesale interbank system and a retail e-wallet in its first phase, Project Aurum 2.0 will now focus on how to enhance privacy for retail central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

Privacy is one of the key considerations of consumers when contemplating the adoption of CBDC, as highlighted by several public consultations on the topic in different countries. Central Banks recognise the importance of privacy and exploring measures to balance privacy and transparency.

Building on the existing Aurum prototype, the next phase aims to leverage expertise from multiple disciplines, by collaborating with universities and privacy experts. The project seeks to advance the practical understanding of central banks around privacy when designing their CBDC systems and demonstrate to public sector how technology can protect personal data in the CBDC space.

The project will focus on privacy by design as a principle and will explore the relevance of several privacy-enhancing technologies, including pseudonymization and zero knowledge proof. It will also test how increasing privacy affects the performance and compliance of a system.

Project Advisor: Jack Ho (