According to the latest Bank for International Settlements (BIS) survey, nine out of ten central banks worldwide are investigating central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Additionally, “the emergence of stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies has accelerated work on CBDCs.”

BIS Central Bank survey on digital currencies

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) released a report last week titled “Getting the Momentum – Findings of the 2021 BIS Central Bank Digital Currency Survey.” The report was authored by Anneke Kosse, the Bank’s Senior Economist, and Ilaria Mattei, Financial Markets Analyst.

The BIS CBDC survey was conducted in autumn 2021 with the participation of 81 central banks. The report describes:

Nine out of ten central banks are researching central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and more than half are now developing them or conducting concrete experiments. In particular, work on retail CBDCs is at a more advanced stage.

The authors explained that both the Covid-19 pandemic and “the emergence of stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies have accelerated work on CBDCs.” This is especially true for “advanced economies, where central banks say financial stability has become more important as a motivator for their CBDC engagement,” they added.

Noting that “2021 was marked by strong growth in the cryptoassets and stablecoin market,” the report states: “On average, nearly six in 10 central banks surveyed indicated that this growth is accelerating their work on CBDCs has.” The authors continued:

This has also fueled collaboration between central banks to monitor the impact of cryptoassets and stablecoins and coordinate regulatory approaches to contain their risks to the financial system.

Additionally, many central banks said they are working on wholesale CBDCs to improve the efficiency of cross-border payments, while more than two-thirds said they are likely to issue a retail CBDC “in the short or medium term.”

What do you think of central banks intensively researching CBDCs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

As an Austrian economics student, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economics and cryptography.

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