In a comprehensive survey by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), it has been revealed that 93% of central banks worldwide are engaged in research and development efforts focused on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The study, which included 86 central banks and ran from October to December 2022, suggests the prevalence of CBDCs could increase sixfold by the end of the decade. This was first reported by Coin Insider.
In light of the rapidly evolving digital payments landscape, many central banks have shifted their focus to CBDCs, with an impressive 50% currently trialing or planning pilot programs. Moreover, over a quarter of these institutions are already piloting retail CBDC projects. The most active regions in these initiatives appear to be emerging economies and developing nations, with CBDC projects almost double that of developed economies.
The BIS survey results show a potential launch of nine wholesale and fifteen retail CBDCs by the decade's end, a clear indication of the growing interest in this field. Particularly, retail CBDCs are gaining traction, with over 80% of central banks acknowledging their value in tandem with fast payment systems due to their unique properties and potential added features.
An upward trend is evident, with the number of central banks planning to launch a retail digital currency within the next three years growing from 15% to 18% over the year. Furthermore, nearly 70% of central banks confidently stated they would be ready to issue a retail CBDC soon.
Despite the global interest, only four nations - Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, and Nigeria - have officially launched their central bank digital currencies so far. While these developing economies predominantly aim to increase financial inclusion through their CBDC efforts, developed economies appear to focus more on enhancing financial stability and facilitating efficient cross-border payments.
In summary, the rise of CBDCs could signify a monumental shift in the global economic infrastructure, as both emerging and developed nations alike recognize the potential advantages and opportunities that these digital currencies present.
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