While followers of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have typically tracked 85-91 projects, a new study from consulting and accounting firm PwC has found that 80% of central banks around the world are considering at least adding a digital version of their national currency. fiat currencies.
These figures reflect both retail and wholesale CBDCs, added the study, led by Nigeria and Thailand respectively.
It comes as a “rise in private sector crypto-assets” shows that with some $190 billion in circulation and “stablecoins are emerging as a complement to existing payment ecosystems,” said Haydn Jones, chief executive. and Senior Blockchain Market Specialist at PwC UK, in its Global CBDC Index and Stablecoin Overview 2022. Like CBDCs, they can be monitored and controlled to the extent desired by each country.
In the United States, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu called for private stablecoins to be interoperable with each other and with CBDCs, noting that this would “facilitate wider use of the dollar instead of a stablecoin. backed by a business as the base currency for commerce and finance in a blockchain-based digital future.
Read more: OCC Comptroller Wants Stablecoins to be Interoperable with US CBDC
The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has announced the launch of a new CBDC project aimed at learning more about how a design of the U.S. digital dollar “could work in the U.S. clearing and settlement infrastructure using the distributed ledger technology (DLT)”.
See more : DTCC launches digital currency project
Meanwhile, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has released an extensive collection of reports covering the CBDC plans of 26 emerging economies as diverse as Argentina and the Philippines, as well as Israel, Indonesia and India.
Similar to advanced market economies, the primary motivation for emerging market economies’ moves to CBDCs is “to achieve greater payment system efficiency,” according to the report. “…Other important considerations include enhancing competition among payment service providers (PSPs), increasing efficiency and reducing the cost of financial services.”
The main motivations in these countries were to provide a digital form of cash and better financial inclusion. The main concerns were cyber risks (including hacks, network resilience, cost and scalability), banking disintermediation and potential for low adoption.
More than half of the banks covered by the report feared that if “they are not carefully managed, [cross-border CBDCs] could stimulate currency substitution, exchange rate volatility and tax evasion.
Another BIS report on the role of CBDCs in financial inclusion found that they could be designed to involve payment service providers (PSPs), banks and non-banks.
“By enabling a new class of PSPs to enter the market, CBDCs could introduce more dynamism and innovation, leading to more personalized and compelling value propositions for payers and recipients,” the report states.
Read more: Non-bank players find themselves at the center of the growing CBDC debate
He also found that the blockchain technology underlying cryptocurrencies and stablecoins is not necessarily the best choice for designing CBDCs.
See more : Do CBDCs Need Blockchain? A growing number of central banks are saying no
Namibia’s central bank has announced plans to launch a digital version of its own currency, the Namibian dollar. Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab suggested concerns about the impact of stablecoins were to blame, the Namibia Daily News reported, adding that there was “a need for central banks to have a clear digital currency program to strengthen the Central Bank’s authority over money and maintain control over the Payments System.”
In Japan, Uchida Shinichi, executive director of the Bank of Japan, said the decision to issue a CBDC was up to the electorate, not the central bank, suggesting a referendum could take place. reported Ledger Insights. A key motivation, he added, is to avoid yen-denominated stablecoins.
The Bank of Israel said it does not believe a digital shekel would have much impact on the country’s banking system.
Read more: Digital shekel won’t disrupt Israel, central bank says