Human beings surely know a thing or two about pushing boundaries, but despite our relentless nature, some things were never supposed to be in our reach. For instance, no matter how hard we try, we can never have a view of the entire spectrum. Now, being limited in such a way, as you would guess, brings a certain level of risk into the picture, and at times, this risk can also exceed all limits. So, when you are playing within a vulnerable dynamic of this sort, you are going to need some well-defined preventive measures in place, and that’s exactly what the world tried to get through the introduction of dedicated regulatory bodies. Once these regulatory bodies had the keys to every possible area, our surroundings were suddenly a lot more organized than ever before. However, the said reality was short-lived, as soon enough; the whole regulatory authority was taken away by technology. You see, with technology and its ingenious structure running the show, every rule breaker had a prime shot at hiding their misdoings in a rather convenient manner, but this unstable scenario was never lasting for long. To regain its dominant position, the regulatory industry will also end up leaning into technology. They would do so through various channels, and digital currency now looks set to be one among them.
US authorities have formally proposed an extensive trial of Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware (ECASH) Act, which is purposed around government’s intention of finding an alternative to cryptocurrency. If approved, the new bill would make Treasury Department the ultimate governing entity for digital dollars instead of giving the said responsibility to Federal Reserve, an entity that usually issues fiat currencies. However, according to certain reports, there is an even bigger shift on the cards. Rather than building a central bank digital currency on blockchain, the bill takes up a token-based approach. The rationale behind it, of course, has everything to do with generating minimal data, and consequentially, bolster user privacy.
“We’re proposing to have a genuine cash-like bearer instrument, a token-based system that doesn’t have either a centralized ledger or distributed ledger because it had no ledger whatsoever. It uses secured hardware software and it’s issued by the Treasury,” said Rohan Grey, an assistant professor at Willamette University who consulted on the bill.
The ECASH Act would require Secretary of the Treasury to establish a program, Electronic Currency Innovation Program (ECIP), which will oversee the necessary testing of this digital currency a.k.a e-cash, As far as timeline is concerned, the Treasury department will be expected to initiate the pilot within 90 days from approval, whereas for public deployment, it will have upto four years. Beyond that, it also requires three proof-of-concept tests that must be completed within 180 of bill’s passage. These tests will work in conjunction with various universities and financial institutions. Focusing on different technologies, at least one test needs to show a physical card successfully storing the cash, and one needs to similar storage capabilities around a mobile phone or SIM card.