According to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), 93% of central banks are already researching central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and there could be up to 15 retail and nine wholesale CBDCs in circulation by 2030.
Published on July 10, the survey of 86 central banks was conducted from October to December 2022. It asked central banks whether they were working on a retail, wholesale or both types of CBDC, how advanced the work was, and their motivations.
According to a survey, over half of the world’s central banks are conducting experiments or working on a CBDC pilot. Almost a quarter of all central banks are already piloting their retail CBDC projects, and the number of wholesale CBDCs in the works is much lower.
Geoeconomically, nations within emerging markets and developing economies are leading CBDC adoption. Their share in piloting the retail (29%) and wholesale (16%) CBDCs almost doubles that of advanced economies, which stands at 18% and 10%, respectively.
Both developing and advanced economies mostly share the motivation behind their CBDC projects — financial stability and cross-border payments efficiency. However, developing countries are more often driven by financial inclusion reasons.
The share of central banks likely to issue a retail CBDC within the next three years grew from 15% to 18% in 2022. At the same time, 68% of central banks still state their unreadiness to issue a retail CBDC “any time soon.”
To date, there are still only four CBDCs in circulation: in the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica and Nigeria. Yet, based on the central bankers’ answers, the survey predicts 15 retail and 9 wholesale CBDCs will be live by the end of this decade.
At the end of June, the Reserve Bank of India reported ongoing negotiations with at least 18 central banks worldwide regarding the possibility of cross-border payments via its CBDC, the “digital rupee.” In July, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Innovation Center completed its proof-of-concept of a regulated liability network for a CBDC.
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