Roxe hires ex-IMF economist to lead Bitcoin-backed CBDC project

Global payment network Roxe has recruited a seasoned economist from the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, to help lead its central bank digital currency project backed by Bitcoin’s (BTC) hashrate. 

Andreas Jobst, whose career spans the IMF, World Bank and Bermuda Monetary Authority, has been appointed as Roxe’s chief currency economist, the company announced Wednesday. Jobst will be tasked with helping to scale Roxe’s CBDC Plus Program and payment network, which allows countries to issue new primary or secondary fiat currencies backed by the computational power of Bitcoin.

Jobst’s most recent appointment at the IMF was an unspecified role in its European department, where he served for two-and-a-half years. He also served as senior economist for the same department between 2014 and 2016.

The CBDC program is primarily geared toward developing countries struggling with high inflation, fiscal imbalances and foreign exchange volatility. Countries that have dollarized their economies have effectively handed over monetary policy to the United States Federal Reserve, creating new vulnerabilities.

Global central banks are actively exploring CBDCs, with some countries, such as China, much further along the development curve. However, most CBDC projects are focused on digitizing their fiat currencies for the purpose of streamlining access to legal tender, strengthening oversight and monitoring of transactions. Roxe, on the other hand, is developing a CBDC that is backed by a standardized unit of Bitcoin’s hashrate. This strategy could allow nations to adopt Bitcoin’s sound money principles into their monetary policy since the generation of reserves would be based on hashrate rather than arbitrary decisions.

Related: Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa launch joint CBDC pilot

Currently, there are five nations that have successfully deployed CBDCs, and all of them are located in the Caribbean region. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Nigeria’s pilot CBDC project is also scheduled for implementation in the coming weeks.

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