Brazil’s Central Bank Uploads CBDC Files to GitHub – Digital BRL Rollout Imminent?

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
The entrance of the Central Bank building in the city of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.
Source: Adilson/Adobe

The Brazilian Central Bank has uploaded a large collection of central bank digital currency (CBDC)-related documents to GitHub – as the nation edges closer to a digital real rollout.

The collection of documents was uploaded to the bank’s GitHub page on June 3, but a number of files were also updated on June 4.

The Brazilian media outlet Portal do Bitcoin pointed out that the documents contain key details about four aspects of the coin.

Namely, these are the architecture of the CBDC’s ongoing pilot, network connection issues, smart contracts, and “sample smart contracts.”

But, to the chagrin of some GitHub users, the documents do not contain the project’s source code.

One repository user asked which block explorer the central bank was planning to use, while another mused:

“I would also like the source code. After all, it was created using public resources. It should be made public, so that everyone can examine it and suggest improvements. Why isn’t software that was developed using taxpayers’ money made free?”

But another user claimed they were working on “reverse engineering” the digital real’s source code – and was “quite far along” with the project.

In response to these demands, a user (whose username appears to match with that of a Business Assistant at the bank) claimed:

“The source codes of the contracts developed for the digital BRL pilot will be published after the completion of the tests […] and necessary code audits. Block explorers will not be determined by the Central Bank. Each participant is responsible for using the explorer that best suits their needs.”

How Will Brazil’s CBDC Project Work?

The Central Bank has previously explained that the pilot CBDC will use an open-source, Ethereum network-compatible permissioned blockchain named Hyperledger Besu.

This will allow the pilot to avoid incurring licensing costs.

The bank has already pledged to differentiate its CBDC from others by focusing on the benefits it will bring to businesses, rather than retail users.

The bank’s Governor Roberto Campos Neto doubled down on this sentiment recently.

He claimed that “digital payments” were “just a small part” of the equation for the digital real team.

A number of the country’s biggest financial players are working with the bank on its pilot.

This number includes a small number of crypto players and some crypto-keen firms, such as the neobanking unicorn Nubank.

The bank has stated that it hopes to roll out the token by 2024.

Last month, the bank unveiled a calendar of pre-launch events and seminars.

But lawmakers say that legislation must be updated before the bank can proceed.

Senator Carlos Portinho last moth claimed that the project “could open the door for state organs,” including city halls and local government offices to create “cryptocurrency wallets.”

Portinho noted that the ability for state-run bodies to hold tokens was “not provided for under current legislation.”