The Bank of Mauritius Confirms Plans to Pilot a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in 2021

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The Bank of Mauritius (which is the Central Bank of Mauritius) has confirmed that it is already working on a central bank digital currency (CBDC) with a target for an year-end rollout.

Speaking during the Consensus 2021 event, Governor Harvesh Seegolam said that the African island nation is in the midst of finalizing its position papers on a CBDC which is expected to be published with concrete examples of its initiatives in the near future.

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SEE ALSOThe South African Reserve Bank Commences Feasibility Study for a General-Purpose Central Bank Digital Currency

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Expressing his opinion on CBDCs and their global appeal, Governor Seegolam said:

“CBDCs will be here to complement, and to address gaps that the traditional monetary system is not able to fulfill.”

                        – Governor, Bank of Mauritius

Speaking about the need to ensure CBDCs across different jurisdictions are able to talk to each other, the Governor said:

“I believe that in most countries, it will be optional whether a person chooses to actually use a CBDC.

We as central bankers, as governors, are speaking regularly on a bilateral basis to also see, what are the other use of collaboration policy that you know we need to work towards designing a lean system that would be able to speak with each other.”

                          – Governor, Bank of Mauritius

Seegolam also highlighted the trilemma concerns facing central bankers when it comes to CBDCs, which include:

  • Compliance
  • Secirity
  • Privacy

The Governor revealed that Mauritius is consulting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on possible CBDC designs and tentative digital currency plans.

Mauritius is now the second country in Africa to confirm that its working on a CBDC with South Africa already leading on the continent after recently announcing that it has commenced its CBDC trials.

Similar to the South African CBDC, the Mauritian CBDC is not replacing cash, but rather, complementing the exisiting monetary system.

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RECOMMENDED READING: Cryptocurrencies and CBDCs are Not Eligible for the Regulatory Sandbox Except for Smart Contracts, Says the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

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