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Australia is quickly accelerating its research into digital currencies, announcing on Monday that by mid-2023 it will be on schedule to unveil its first central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as an “eAUD.”

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In July, the country initiated a pilot of its first trial of a CBDC using a private version of Ethereum, working in close partnership with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Center. The aim is to "explore innovative use cases and business models" for CBDCs, the country's white paper said.

Despite recent legislative fervor in the U.S. to create a digital dollar – mostly to displace rival China, which is already successfully trialing its own digital yuan – the enthusiasm to create one is more muted in Australia. CBDC enthusiasts have reasons to exercise caution in Australia; there is no indication yet the government of Australia will implement the CBDC it is researching and testing, or move the country away from fiat currency.

Earlier this month, Finder ranked Australia fourth among countries for global crypto adoption, though the country did not make the top 20 list in the 2022 Chainalysis crypto adoption index.

Finder said that almost a quarter of Australians have adopted crypto, numbering approximately 4.6 million and almost 60% of them being aged 18-34.

Overall, the majority of Australians holding crypto are young and tech-savvy, with 14% of Australians owning Bitcoin and 10% holding Ethereum.