CBDC & Privacy Technology


Wednesday 22nd March 2023


| Michael Greco, Digital Dollar Project

Robert Zev Mahari, MIT


Privacy is a fundamental aspect of life, and privacy regarding financial transactions is a critical topic for everyone. The myriad of digital forms of money and payment instruments available to the public today all affect our privacy in some way, and retail CBDCs will be no exception.

Depending on how privacy is embedded as a design option, adoption rates of rCBDCs could be affected, prompting us to explore privacy in the context of digital currencies and the role of trust and technology further in Session #15 of the CBDC Broadcast.

Guests Michael Greco and Robert Zev Mahari, joined FNA to offer their diverse perspectives to examine the different approaches to privacy and discuss whether a two-tier rCBDC system could bring us close to the privacy levels we have today while ensuring compliance with AML regulations.


The session covered:

  • The current state of affairs regarding privacy in retail digital payments
  • Whether technology can provide sufficient privacy protection for rCBDCs
  • Who are we trusting with our privacy as CBDCs are introduced
  • Whether a two-tiered CBDC system could offer an effective and practical way to keep privacy as we enjoy it today
  • Whether the quest for extreme privacy from an rCBDC is justified?
  • The potential risks to privacy that are unique to CBDCs compared to traditional payment systems
  • How is privacy regarding retail CBDC payments likely to evolve, and how will central banks solve the privacy dilemma associated with rCBDCs?


Watch on-demand


Session #15 Guests


Michael Greco

Digital Dollar Project

Michael Greco is the Policy Research Director for the Digital Dollar Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging public discussion on the advantages and challenges of a potential U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC) – or a “Digital Dollar”. In his current role, Michael supports the Digital Dollar Project’s mission to explore a digital dollar through research and pilot programs and to inform policymakers and the public with real-world data and research. Michael previously worked on public policy issues related to digital assets for R3, an enterprise distributed ledger software company. He also led Accenture’s government relations work on public policy issues related to digital currencies, artificial intelligence, and other technology and financial services issues. Michael started his career on Capitol Hill working for U.S. Senator Tammy Balwin and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hofstra University.


Robert Zev Mahari

MIT Connection Science & Engineering

Robert Mahari is pursuing a joint JD/PhD degree at Harvard Law School and the MIT Media Lab’s Human Dynamics Group. His work focuses on how technology can and should affect the practice of law by broadening access to justice and increasing judicial efficacy. Robert’s work includes exploring how Central Bank Digital Currencies can be designed to be inherently resilient to money laundering, creating theoretical and empirical models to understand the effect of third-party litigation funding on access to justice, designing natural language processing techniques to predict judicial precedent and proposing computational antitrust devices to promote competitiveness in data-driven markets. As part of his research, Robert collaborates with private and public entities around the world to prototype computational legal solutions to challenges ranging from modelling social inflation to designing blockchain systems for government grant disbursement.



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