The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) study showed a high interest of central banks in CBDCs, as well as regulators’ focus on retail scenarios for using them.

90% of Central Banks Study CBDCs

Last week, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) released a report on its study conducted in autumn 2021. Analysts examined the potential for central bank digital currencies (CBCDs) to be created by global regulators.

The study’s main purpose was to examine the motives for launching CBDCs in various countries. The BIS survey included central bank representatives from 81 countries around the world, of which 25 with advanced economies (AE) and 56 with emerging market and developing economies (EMDE).

According to the data, the number of central banks actively studying CBDCs has increased to 90% compared to the results of a similar survey in 2020. Central banks are particularly interested in retail CBDCs: all CBDC-active central banks are either considering both wholesale and retail forms of organization, or are focusing exclusively on retail CBDCs. 

Read more about the types of CBDCs in our article:

 The number of central banks developing CBDCs or implementing a pilot project has nearly doubled to 26%, up from 14% in 2020. Also, 62% of central banks are experimenting with digital currencies or exploring the CBDC implementation. 

The BIS noted that the motivation of AE and EMDE countries is different. For example, advanced economies are focused on financial stability, as well as the security of domestic payments and their efficiency. Countries with developing economies consider CBDCs as a mechanism that can improve the level of accessibility of financial services and the efficiency of cross-border payments.

Analysts noted that more than 70% of central banks are studying the CBDC ecosystem in the context of cooperation with the private sector and the possibility of interoperability. And 76% of central banks surveyed are exploring the potential of CBDC interaction with existing payment systems.

The BIS survey included questions concerning the use of stablecoins as a means of payment. Thus, about 70% of central banks are studying the potential impact of stablecoins on monetary and financial stability. Analysts have concluded that single-currency stablecoins have the highest potential to become legal tender. In contrast, stablecoins backed by commodities and other cryptocurrencies, as well as algorithmic stablecoins, are perceived by regulators as the least promising.

Nearly a quarter of central banks are exploring the use of cryptocurrencies. This is evidenced by the fact that 26% of central banks surveyed their users about their interest in using stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies as payment instruments.

Read about the experience of central banks launching digital currencies in different countries and CBDC development trends in 2022.

Author: Ana Bustos García
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