No central bank is currently working on a Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC, that can be used by consumers, according to enterprise blockchain firm, R3.
A recent report by R3 claims that no central bank is currently pursuing the development of a retail CBDC. As the authors of the document explain, CBDC’s are divided into wholesale and retail: the first is limited to commercial banks while the latter can involve corporations, small businesses, and even individuals.
The report explains that a wholesale CBDC is just a new modernization step for central banks, while a retail CBDC “is an opportunity to extend access to digital central bank money.” Interestingly, the report clearly states that all the CBDC projects currently pursued by central banks worldwide aim to create wholesale CBDC systems:
“Unlike wholesale CBDC, retail CBDC does not currently exist in production. Retail generally refers to the general public, corporates and certain financial institutions that currently do not have access to central bank money. As a result, experiments in the space are incredibly novel. However, central banks across the world [...] are beginning to commit resources towards implementing retail CBDC.”
The CBDC space sees rapid development
While such systems may differ significantly from the “digital cash” that many expected them to be, CBDCs are being widely researched and developed around the world. One particularly famous example is China’s digital currency, which according to mid-April reports, is now being tested in four different cities in the country.
Furthermore, as Cointelegraph recently reported, rumors suggest that Starbucks and McDonald’s are also currently poised to accept China’s CBDC.