Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Gain Momentum: BIS Survey Forecasts 24 Live CBDCs by 2030

A recent survey conducted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) reveals that the majority of central banks around the world are actively researching Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). The survey, which involved 86 central banks and took place from October to December 2022, indicates that 93% of central banks are exploring CBDCs.

The survey findings suggest that by 2030, there could be a total of 15 retail CBDCs and nine wholesale CBDCs in circulation. Currently, only four CBDCs are operational in the Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, and Nigeria. However, based on the responses from central banks, the survey predicts a significant increase in CBDC adoption over the next decade.

The study highlights that central banks in emerging markets and developing economies are at the forefront of CBDC adoption, with a higher proportion piloting both retail and wholesale CBDCs compared to advanced economies. Financial stability and cross-border payment efficiency are key motivations driving CBDC projects in both developing and advanced economies, although financial inclusion is more prevalent as a driving factor in developing countries.

While the survey indicates progress in CBDC development, it also reveals that a significant number of central banks are not yet ready to issue a retail CBDC in the near future, with 68% stating their unreadiness. However, the share of central banks likely to issue a retail CBDC within the next three years has grown from 15% to 18% in 2022.

Recent developments from central banks further support the trend towards CBDC adoption. The Reserve Bank of India has been engaged in discussions with 18 central banks worldwide to explore cross-border payments using its CBDC, the “digital rupee.” Additionally, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Innovation Center completed a proof-of-concept for a regulated liability network supporting a CBDC.

With the ongoing research and experimentation, the survey’s projections of 24 CBDCs live by 2030 suggest a potential significant transformation in the global financial landscape in the coming years.

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