BIS survey: 94% of central banks exploring CBDC

94% of surveyed central banks are exploring a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The survey suggests that central banks are proceeding at their own speed, taking diverse approaches and considering different design features.

Over the course of 2023, there has been a sharp uptick in experiments and pilots with wholesale CBDCs – mainly in advanced economies (AEs), but various emerging market and developing economies (EMDE) also stepped up their wholesale CBDC work.

Overall, the likelihood that central banks will issue a wholesale CBDC within the next six years now exceeds the likelihood that they will issue a retail CBDC.

Central banks further enhanced their engagement with stakeholders to inform CBDC design. Many CBDC features are still undecided. Yet, interoperability and programmability are often considered for wholesale CBDCs.

For retail CBDCs, more than half of central banks are considering holding limits, interoperability, offline options and zero remuneration.

Differences exist between AEs and EMDEs, for example with respect to the potential use of a distributed ledger and transaction limits.

On crypto, the survey indicates that, to date, stablecoins are rarely used for payments outside the crypto ecosystem.

Moreover, about two out of three responding jurisdictions have or are working on a framework to regulate stablecoins and other cryptoassets.

These are the key the results of the 2023 BIS survey on central bank digital currencies and crypto. A total of 86 central banks participated and shared insights into their involvement in the work, as well as their motivations and intentions for potentially issuing one.

The paper also provides insight into the use of stablecoins for payments and regulatory approaches to cryptoassets across the globe.


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