The PwC Global CBDC Index is designed to measure a central bank’s level of maturity in deploying their own digital currency. It provides a synthetic index, capturing the central banks’ progress, stance on CBDC development, and public interest in two distinct use cases:
Retail CBDC which are held directly by citizens and corporates
Interbank, or Wholesale CBDC which are restricted to Financial Institutions, principally for interbank payments and financial settlement processes
Below is a breakdown of the top 10 countries based on CBDC development and project maturity.
South Africa’s Project Khokha, which commenced in late 2017, with phase 2 commencing in 2021, looks to issue, clear and settle debentures on DLT using tokenized money built as a minimum viable product to fruther explore policy and regulatory considerations.
The project seeks to enable users purchase debentures with a wholesale Central Bank-issued digital currency (wCBDC) and a wholesale digital settlement token (wToken), a privately-issued stable coin used for interbank settlement.
According to the report, retail CBDC projects appear to be more advanced in emerging economies with financial inclusion stated as an expected outcome. Wholesale efforts are mostly conducted in more advanced economies with more developed interbank systems and capital markets.
Looking at the most advanced projects globally, retail efforts have already produced two live projects in the Bahamas and Cambodia.
No interbank / wholesale CBDC projects have reached this maturity level yet. However, nearly 70% of declared wholesale projects are already running pilots, while only 23% of retail projects reached this implementation stage.
More than 88% of CBDC projects, at pilot or production phase, use blockchain as the underlying technology.