Norway experiments with an ETH-based CBDC while Russia looks to clarify crypto regulations

The central bank of Norway has released the open source code for the country's new central bank digital currency (CBDC) sandbox, and curiously to some, the nation's new CBDC prototype infrastructure is based on Ethereum technology.

The sandbox is now publicly available on GitHub and is designed to "allow for the testing of basic token management use cases, including minting, burning and transferring ERC-20 tokens," according to a blog post from the Norges Bank's official CBDC partner Nahmii.

Along with deploying the appropriate smart contracts and access controls, the Norges Bank sandbox also includes a custom frontend and network monitoring tools like BlockScout and Grafana.

The frontend, designed to offer a clear and intuitive interface for interacting with the test network, also "shows a filterable summary of transactions on the network," according to Nahmii.

Nahmii noted that the current version of the code does not support the major Ethereum wallet MetaMask, by design, and is "only accessible by users with appropriate credentials," meaning that "Transactions on the test network are therefore private."

Norges Bank officially announced its plans to conduct CBDC tests in April 2021 and indicated that it expected to find a preferred solution by trialing different designs over the next two years.

A working paper issued by the bank in November 2021 identified several possible CBDC designs, including those based on the Ethereum, Bitcoin and Bitcoin SV blockchains.

Russia looks to establish crypto regulations by years end

The new week has brought yet another crypto-related announcement out of Russia, as Tuesday saw Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin officially order the government to come to a consensus regarding cryptocurrency regulation in the country by Dec. 19.

Mishustin directly called on the Duma and other state authorities to create a coordinated policy on regulating the issuance and circulation of digital currencies within the country and to finalize regulations for crypto mining and cross-border transactions in digital currencies.

Importantly, the prime minister emphasized that the regulations need to be aligned with the Bank of Russia, the Russian Finance Ministry, Anti-Money Laundering authority Rosfinmonitoring, the Federal Tax Service and the Federal Security Service.

This is the latest significant crypto-related development to come out of Russia and follows last week's revelation that the Bank of Russia agreed with the finance ministry to legalize cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.

Russia's Finance Ministry also recently revealed that it has begun working with governments of "friendly" nations to create a cross-border stablecoin-based payment platform.

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