A growing number of central banks around the globe are working on digital versions of their national currencies, a survey by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published last week has found.
A central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a digital payment instrument denominated in the national unit of account, and regulated by a central bank. There are currently two types: retail, for everyday use by individuals and firms, and wholesale, for transactions between financial institutions.
According to BIS findings, 79 of the 86 central banks surveyed said they were studying the possibility of creating some form of CBDC. Over half of the national regulators said they were already conducting “concrete experiments” or working on trial versions of digital currencies.
The study found that most central banks see potential value in having both a retail and wholesale CBDC, and BIS expects there to be at least 15 retail and 9 wholesale CBDCs publicly circulating worldwide by 2030.
The survey found that more banks have come closer to issuing a CBDC within the next three years – their number reached 16% since last year with regard to wholesale digital currencies and grew from 15% to 18% with regard to retail CBDCs.
Opponents of CBDCs have been raising questions over the currencies, particularly regarding their regulation and the privacy of transactions.
However, analysts note that traditional financial institutions are increasingly enthusiastic about entering the digital market.
“The BIS survey shows that central banks are more bullish than ever on CBDCs. New use cases abound, and leaders from economies as diverse as Sri Lanka, Singapore and Switzerland are recognizing potential benefits. These include more efficient payments, financial inclusion, and faster monetary policy implementation,” Gilbert Verdian, founder and CEO of Quant, a technology partner on the Bank of England’s CBDC project, told the FinTech news outlet, commenting on the report.
“A well-designed CBDC could actually be a huge catalyst for innovation. Businesses and consumers would be able to automate complex and cumbersome processes and implement logic into money,” Verdian added.
There are currently four central banks that have issued a retail CBDC, according to BIS – The Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica and Nigeria.
The One World Digital Currency is commencing..
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