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

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The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has embarked on a study to investigate the feasibility, desirability, and appropriateness of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as electronic legal tender, for general-purpose retail use, complementary to cash.

In a press release, SARB said that ‘the feasibility study is to consider how the issuance of general-purpose CBDC will feed into the SARB’s policy position and mandate.’

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The CBDC feasibility study is expected to be concluded in 2022.

According to SARB:

“The study will focus on the issuance of a domestic CBDC that can be used by consumers in South Africa for general retail purposes. The feasibility study will include practical experimentation across different emerging technology platforms, taking into account a variety of factors, including policy, regulatory, security and risk management implications.

It should be noted that while the CBDC feasibility study is different from Project Khokha, which focuses on the settlement of high-value transactions between commercial banks and other stakeholders at the wholesale level, it is expected that the two studies will result in better policy alignment and coordination.”

                   – South African Reserve Bank (SARB)

The SARB has, at this stage, not yet made a decision to issue a retail CBDC.

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Read / Download the SARB press release here

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