The Boston Fed believes financial technology—FinTech—will continue to be a transformative force in the delivery of banking products and financial services. Our experts in payments, information technology, and cybersecurity are actively exploring and studying a number of advancements in FinTech—and engaging the stakeholders and innovators behind them—in order to understand the potential impacts to financial payment processes, regulatory oversight and supervision, and cybersecurity.
Central Bank Digital Currency
Digital currencies are being developed by businesses and governments globally, and the Federal Reserve knows it must understand their benefits and tradeoffs in case the Fed is asked to create a digital form of the dollar. A key part of that effort is a collaboration between the Boston Fed and researchers at MIT to investigate how to build a CBDC with the speed, security, privacy, and resiliency required to be money for the world’s largest economy.
The project focuses specifically on creating a robust hypothetical digital currency to test a variety of realistic scenarios that would arise with the adoption of a digital dollar. The hypothetical digital currency platform will have many of the functions and features of a CBDC production platform, as well as the capacity to scale to real-world production volumes. It will enable the Federal Reserve to best inform the public and policymakers about the merits and challenges of a CBDC.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston promotes sound growth and financial stability in New England and the nation. For a financial institution of any size, a failure to adequately secure the digital infrastructure can be disastrous. Against a backdrop of headline-grabbing data breaches and increasingly destructive malware, the need for a measured, multi-faceted approach to cybersecurity has become essential.
The Boston Fed's cybersecurity experts draw on a deep well of financial services knowledge and experience in protecting our organization and have presented at conferences and events around the world, allowing them to bring a global perspective to the cybersecurity issues facing the first district.
By encouraging communication between financial institutions, proactive risk management, and a more complete understanding of the threat landscape, the Boston Fed ultimately seeks to make it possible for financial institutions to better target and prioritize their use of resources, thus reducing risk to the overall financial system.
Distributed Ledger Technology
Distributed ledger technology, or blockchain, has the potential to profoundly impact business processes in a variety of sectors, including financial services. The Boston Fed is actively studying, exploring, and engaging with DLT to determine applicability, and potential benefits. We're working with cross-sector stakeholders to study the evolution of the technology and its potential impact on payments, digital currencies, and other business processes and models.