CBDCs and cyber-security: resilience considerations when developing digital money

Image by pixabay.com
November 14, 2023

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are an increasingly prominent topic for government authorities worldwide.

CBDCs such as the Bahamas’ Sand Dollar and Nigeria’s eNaira are already live, while the US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank (ECB – for the eurozone) and Bank of England are all stepping up their explorations.

Among the most important considerations facing policymakers and CBDC developers is cyber-security – a topic that (alongside CBDCs themselves), is among the BIS Innovation Hub’s 2023 priorities and also among the 13 public policy principles for retail CBDCs published by the Group of Seven (G7) nations in 2021.

Specific projects examining CBDC’s cybersecurity aspects include ‘Project Sela’, which is being led by the BIS Innovation Hub’s Hong Kong centre and involves the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Bank of Israel; and ‘Project Tourbillon’, which is being run by the BIS Innovation Hub’s Swiss centre and is focused on cyber-resiliency, scalability and privacy of CBDC.

A UK House of Lords economic affairs committee report, published in January 2022, concluded that a CBDC poses two main security risks: first, that individual accounts could be compromised through cyber-security weaknesses; and, second, that a centralised CBDC ledger could be a target for attack from ‘hostile state and non-state actors’. The report added that while no system design can guarantee absolute security, any CBDC system ‘will need to be adaptable to emerging security threats and technological change, including fast-developing quantum computing’.

This Global Government Fintech webinar will ask questions including:

  • How are the biggest cybersecurity threats facing CBDCs evolving?
  • To what extent, and how, are retail (general purpose) CBDCs a greater cyber-security risk than a wholesale CBDC?
  • How important are technology solutions and design choices to keeping CBDCs ‘safe’?


Public servants can register here for free to attend this webinar


USA/Canada Eastern Time (EST): 09:30 – 10:45
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): 14:30 – 15:45
Central European Time (CET): 15:30 – 16:45
Eastern European Time (EET): 16:30 – 17:45
Singapore Time (SGT): 22:30 – 23:45
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): 01:30 – 02:45


Aristides Andrade Cavalcante Neto, Deputy Head of Information Technology Department, Central Bank of Brazil

Bachelor of Science in Computing and Master of Business Administration, Mr. Cavalcante has worked at Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) for 25 years. He is Deputy Head of the IT department and Chief of Cybersecurity and Technological Innovation Office. He is in charge of fostering and collaborating in initiatives related to cybersecurity and technological innovation in the Brazilian financial system.  In Central Bank of Brazil, he conducted the research about Blockchain technology, quantum computing and served as chair of the studying group about CBDC and Cyber Resilience. Nowadays, he coordinates the Technological and Financial Innovation Lab (LIFT), an open accelerator to fintech, and the internal accelerator to explore AI and Machine Learning to BCB processes. He also leads the IT team on the Brazilian CBDC initiative,  serves as chair of the Open Finance working group in the BIS Innovation Network, he’s in charge of the IT coordination on the Open Finance in Brazil. He also works with the supervision area to improve the cyber resilience in Brazilian financial system.

Webinar chair: Ian Hall, Editor, Global Government Fintech

Ian is editor of Global Government Fintech and also writes for media including City AM and #DisruptionBanking. He is former UK director for the pan-European media network Euractiv (2011-2018), editor of Public Affairs News (2007-2011) and news editor of PR Week (2000-2007). He was shortlisted for ‘Editor of the Year’ at the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) Awards in 2010. He began his career in Bulgaria at English-language weekly the Sofia Echo, with his year in the Balkans (1998-1999) sandwiched between a BA in Economics and MA in Urban & Regional Change in Europe (both from Durham University).