Fourth-year electrical engineering student Tianyu (Alex) Shi spent last summer investigating potential technological innovations that the Bank of Canada can utilize to develop a made-in-Canada central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“The evolution of digital and cryto-currencies have prompted the Bank of Canada to develop their own cash-like central bank digital currency,” explains Shi. “I was fortunate enough to be assigned an IUSRA to research the design and implementation of a CBDC in Canada.” Working alongside Assistant Professor Chen Feng, the co-cluster lead of Blockchain@UBC, UBC Okanagan Principal’s Research Chair in Blockchain, Shi spent a co-op work term working on an IUSRA multi-disciplinary project that covered finance, economics, computer science, and engineering design.
“Tianyu has conducted an in-depth survey of design principles for central bank digital currency with a particular focus on CBDC proposals from several leading Canadian universities,” says Feng. “He also investigated the Chinese digital currency to gain additional insight into how the Bank of Canada can improve their own cash-like central bank digital currency.”
The comprehensive report developed by Shi provided a technical analysis of existing technologies, and technological properties the central bank should consider in their proposed digital currency.
According to Shi, the IURSA is a valuable addition to his graduate studies applications. “Being able to work on an emerging technology has inspired me to dig deeper, learn how to do proper academic research, and paved the way for me to continue my work in this area.” Shi is planning on pursuing a Masters after he completes his undergraduate studies later this year.
“The opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct cutting-edge research is invaluable, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with gifted students like Tianyu.
Every year, undergraduate students (both domestic and international) are invited to apply for USRA and IUSRA. The program allows students who are eligible to work in Canada, and returning to their studies the following term, to participate in paid research during the summer.