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FameEX Hot Topics | BIS Survey Reveals 93% of Global Central Banks Actively Pursuing CBDC Development

2023-07-12 16:17:45

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), renowned as the bank of central banks, has published the findings of its 2022 survey focusing on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and cryptocurrencies. The survey encompassed 86 banks, revealing that an overwhelming 93% of them were engaged in CBDC-related work to varying degrees. In the paper titled "Making Headway," the BIS highlights that more than half of the surveyed central banks were conducting concrete experiments or working on pilots related to CBDCs. This indicates a diminishing level of uncertainty surrounding the issuance of CBDCs in the near future. However, while some central banks are less inclined to issue retail CBDCs in the next three years, others are more inclined.
The concept of wholesale CBDCs, which are intended for use as a payment mechanism between private banks, has gained increasing acceptance. The survey demonstrates that the proportion of central banks likely to issue this form of CBDC has more than doubled since the previous survey.


The motivations for CBDC issuance vary, with the enhancement of cross-border payments identified as a driving factor. In emerging markets and developing economies, CBDC research is predominantly motivated by efforts to promote financial inclusion. The rise of stablecoins and cryptocurrency assets has prompted traditional financial institutions to pursue innovation. The survey reveals that 60% of the consulted central banks have expedited their work on CBDCs due to the existence of these alternative forms of currency.


Stablecoin issuance has also raised concerns among currency issuers about potential effects on their economies. The BIS poll indicates that 70% of central banks are researching the potential instability that stablecoins could introduce, and 40% have assessed the level of usage of crypto assets and stablecoins within their jurisdictions. However, the use of stablecoins and crypto assets remains largely limited to decentralized finance platforms and cryptocurrency exchanges. Central banks reported that these alternative currencies are rarely utilized for remittances and retail payments.


Overall, the BIS survey highlights the significant engagement of central banks in CBDC-related work, indicating a growing acceptance and exploration of this transformative technology. The evolving landscape of digital currencies and their potential impact on the global financial system continues to drive research and experimentation among central banks worldwide.

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