Built on the feedback received from interagency consultations and a request for public information, the White House in March released a report outlining national objectives for federal R&D focused on development, use and protection of digital assets prepared by its Fast-Track Action Committee on Digital Assets R&D.
The objectives outlined in the report will be used to develop a national agenda for digital assets to help direct federal funding for R&D into techniques and technology that supports digital assets, such as blockchain and other distributed ledger technology (DLT), applied R&D for digital assets both inside and outside of the financial ecosystem, and translational R&D to pilot, prototype and deploy digital assets technologies.
“The National R&D Agenda for Digital Assets will identify research frontiers that can in turn advance the underpinnings of digital assets as well as their many use cases,” said Margaret Martonosi, NSF assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. “This work can help us move toward addressing pressing societal and economic challenges, while also ensuring responsible development of digital assets.”
According to the report, the forthcoming R&D plan will support collaborative disciplinary and interdisciplinary R&D of digital asset technologies in line with following objectives:
- Accelerate R&D on fundamental techniques and technologies for digital assets
- Advance R&D that emphasizes security, privacy, and resilience of digital assets
- Cultivate R&D to support a potential U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
- Support R&D to advance equity and fairness in the development and use of digital assets
Of particular note, the report recommends that Federal R&D in digital assets should prioritize fundamental and translational R&D that would be useful in the assessment, design, implementation, and deployment of a potential U.S. CBDC, including innovative and secure architectural approaches and models of issuance, integration of secure hardware, support for interoperability, the programmability of transactions, and incorporation of diverse transactional modalities including offline transactions and governance structures. The objective also calls for R&D to emphasize embedding privacy-enhancing and interpretability features, and support models and methodologies that could enable a potential U.S. CBDC system to be scalable, useable, resilient, adaptable, equitable, and environmentally sustainable.
The National Digital Assets R&D Agenda is being developed by a Fast-Track Action Committee (FTAC) under the National Science and Technology Council’s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Subcommittee.
Review the National Objectives for Digital Assets Research and Development at: https://www.nitrd.gov/pubs/National-Objectives-for-Digital-Assets-RD-2023.pdf, which was also released by the White House at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/National-Objectives-for-Digital-Assets-Research-and-Development.pdf
For more information on the work of the NITRD Fast-Track Action Committee, see: https://www.nitrd.gov/coordination-areas/dard/