Most of the world’s central banks are studying the idea the issuing central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to a survey by Swiss-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) done in 2018.
The survey drew responses from 63 central banks representing jurisdictions that constitute almost 80% of the world’s population – 41 from emerging market economies with the other 22 from advanced economies. Together, they also represent more than 90% of the world’s economic output.
About 70% of the central banks said they were studying their own CBDC. SCMP’s report on the BIS survey also notes that around 25% of central banks have the authority, or will soon have the authority, to issue their own CBDC in the near term. Payment safety and efficiency are the largest factors driving their research into CBDC.
A similar concept of e-currencies is possibly in the pipeline in Sweden, observes cryptonews. Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, is working on “e-Krona”. With cash usage in decline, Sveriges Riksbank is looking into having electronic Krona as a cash counterpart.
In the meantime, over 85% of central banks in the BIS survey said they are somewhat unlikely or very unlikely to issue any CBDC in the short term. Forbes, however, notes that the greatest enthusiasm for CBDCs comes from central banks in emerging economies, which view them as a means to boost financial inclusion.
“Most people will have to wait some time to use a central bank digital currency, but central banks are working hard to make sure the wait is worth it,” Forbes quoted BIS as saying.