The rise of digital payments at the detriment of cash has stirred interest in a digital alternative that’s as resilient and reliable as cash – especially, in the face of natural disasters or large-scale infrastructure outages. This digital alternative is Central-bank Digital Currency (CBDC for short). CBDC is governments’ response to a fragmented payment landscape that’s primarily controlled by the private sector. CBDC is aimed to replace cash and offer similar guarantees: from being a store of value and medium of exchange, to enabling offline payments and anonymous transactions (to a degree).
Challenges pertaining to CBDC are diverse in terms of nature and scope: economic, regulatory and technical. Our research focuses on the technical challenges that if addressed correctly can offer answers to both the economic and regulatory ones. One important aspect of our work is digital identity and how it relates to CBDC transactions. Anonymity requirements mandate that users transact without revealing their identities. On the other hand, enforcing regulations requires monitoring and audit capabilities to detect suspicious transactions and trace them back to their originators. Not to mention that to avoid settings where users have as many identities as payment service providers, a certain level of identity interoperation is required.
Decentralized identity and zero-knowledge proofs can mitigate some of these tensions. Yet, interoperation, performance and revocation are still the main obstacles to viable identity solutions for CBDC. At IBM research, our task is to come up with such a solution.
The scope of our research includes but is not restricted to:
- Collecting the requirements related to decentralized identity in the CBDC space.
- Design of decentralized identity solutions for CBDC systems.
- Implementation of the designed solutions on top of Hyperledger Fabric.
As an intern, you will investigate identity solutions for CBDC and have first-hand experience of building blockchain solutions for real-world systems.
IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent flexible working arrangements enable all genders to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.
How to apply
If you are interested in this exciting position, please submit your application below.