New public-private collaboration with top banks, public agencies and private organisations launched, to shed light on the digital asset ecosystem

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School today announced the launch of the Cambridge Digital Assets Programme (CDAP), a research initiative in collaboration with 16 leading banks, public sector agencies and private organisations to shed light on the rapid digitisation of assets and value transfer systems.

Over an initial period of two years, the CCAF will work with public and private organisations to create the empirical data, tools, and insights necessary to facilitate an evidence-based public dialogue about the opportunities and risks presented by the growing digital asset ecosystem.

The CDAP’s institutional research collaborators are (in alphabetical order): Accenture, Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, British International Investment (BII), Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), EY, Fidelity, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Goldman Sachs, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Invesco, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), Mastercard, MSCI, Visa, and the World Bank.

The new programme builds on the CCAF’s existing work in creating digital tools such as the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) and widely cited research reports including the Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study series. It is designed to address the broader ecosystem trends and issues through impactful research outputs that can help guide public opinion, inform regulation and policy discussion, as well as support evidence-based decision making by individuals and institutions globally.

Supporters of the programme include prominent public and private stakeholders from a variety of representative sectors within the ecosystem to promote diversity in views and facilitate exchange of multi-disciplinary insight. These supporters will also provide directional input and guidance to ensure practical and meaningful research output.

“The growing adoption of digital assets increasingly blurs the lines between roles, responsibilities and applicable rules, stretching the boundaries of long-term institutional arrangements,” says Bryan Zhang, Executive Director, CCAF. “The Cambridge Digital Assets Programme that we are launching today aims to meet the resulting need for greater clarity by providing data-driven insights through collaborative research involving public and private sector stakeholders.”

The research agenda for the programme will be centred around three workstreams covering distinct but related thematic areas. The first is focused on environmental implications and broader ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations of digital assets and their associated services. The second area will look at the processes and configurations of Distributed Financial Market Infrastructure (dFMI), including the evolving constellation of networks, platforms, applications, and services. The third research stream will focus on emergent money systems – the “asset” side of the ecosystem – comprising crypto-assets, stable-coins, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), as well as enterprise and consumer tokens.

“We have spent a lot of time developing a consistent framework that consolidates our efforts in the digital assets space and ensuring that we have the right collaborations in place to deliver insight and clarity,” says Michel Rauchs, Digital Assets Lead, CCAF. “We believe that this programme will provide decision-makers with the objective analysis and empirical evidence that they need to navigate the digital assets maze.”

Each research stream will convene a dedicated working group comprising CCAF researchers, domain experts, and representatives from supporting institutions of the programme. Collectively the programme is designed to implement highly collaborative research projects, generating, and analysing empirical data that yield timely insights with global impact.