To Date, there are Just 2 Live Retail CBDCs Globally, Says the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) July 2021 Report

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The latest July 2021 report by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has revealed that only 2 states have working central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in place.

Interestingly, the 2 states are nations with predominantly populations of African descent.

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SEE ALSO[WATCH] We Are in the Implementation Phase of the e-Cedi CBDC, Confirms Governor, Bank of Ghana

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The two nations are:

  • The Bahamas – The Sand Dollar
  • The Caribbean – The DCash

The report also says there are other several advanced CBDC projects but non has gone live yet except the two above.

In a survey of 66 central banks, the majority of the CBDC work is now in the research, proof-of-concept, and pilot stage in advanced, emerging and developing economies with the need for cross-border payments efficiency being a key motivator for CBDC implementation.

According to the report, the lack of widespread CBDC has been hampered by:

  • Unresolved design and policy decisions
  • Subject to considerable economic and practical examination
  • Lack of alignment with regulatory, supervisory, and oversight frameworks for cross-border payments

The report, addressed to G20, identifies the issues that need to be resolved before widespread CBDCs adoption takes place:

  • The practical perspective of how a cross-border payment infrastructure with CBDC could be set up
  • A macro-financial perspective examining the potential increase in cross-border flows, possible financial stability risks, currency substitution,and reserve currency configurations and backstops

Highlighting the importance of multilaterial collaboration on design principles, the report says:

“Introducing a CBDC could have a range of macro-financial implications. Ultimately, those implications will depend on several factors, such as the level and nature of international adoption, and on the degree of collaboration among issuing and recipient countries. International use of CBDCs could potentially increase cross-border flows, but specific design choices of CBDCs could limit such use.

The implications would differ for wholesale versus retail CBDCs. Hence, multilateral collaboration to agree on design principles will be key to addressing concerns of central banks regarding currency substitution risk, capital flow volatility, and contagion risk. These macro-financial implications of cross-border currency use are not exclusive for CBDCs, but also exist for privately issued forms of money.

However, CBDCs could allow jurisdictions greater room of manoeuvre to mitigate potentially adverse macro-financial implications.”

                          – Bank of International Settlements (BIS)

Interestingly, the report mentions the need to investigate global stablecoin arrangements and learn by analyzing these analytical synergies to help in CBDC designs when it comes to access and interlinking CBDCs, including interoperability with non-CBDC payment infrastructures.

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Read / Download full report here

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RECOMMENDED READING: The Central Bank of Ghana Launches a Regulatory and Innovation Sandbox Prioritizing Blockchain Technology

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