More than 80% of central banks are interested in launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or have already done so, according to research by accounting firm PwC.
The second annual report of the Global CBDC Index published on Monday, April 4, measures the level of maturity of a central bank in the deployment of its own digital currency. The report also included an overview of stablecoins for the first time.
Haydn Jones, Blockchain and Crypto Specialist at PwC UK stated in the report that “over 80% of central banks are considering launching a CBDC or have already done so”.
The report ranks both retail CBDCs, those issued for use by the general public, and wholesale CBDCs for use by financial institutions with the central bank, out of 100.
Retail CBDCs have reached a higher level of maturity compared to their wholesale counterparts, according to the report. Nigeria’s “eNaira”, for example, received a score of 95, making it the most developed brand in both the retail and wholesale categories.
Also noteworthy in the retail category is the Bahamas, the first country to launch a CBDC: the Sand Dollar. Jamaica’s Jam-Dex is scheduled to launch this year, and Thailand made the list for its development and testing of a CBDC announced last August.
Thailand and Hong Kong topped the wholesale category for their joint mBridge project focused on cross-border payments, Singapore and France also ranked high for their continued exploration of CBDC projects.
Related: DeFi, Web3, CBDC Still Unknown to Most: Survey
Jones also commented on the level of maturity and readiness that central banks around the world are currently at. He said:
“Countries are at different levels of maturity with CBDCs and each country has different motivating factors. Increasing financial inclusion, facilitating cross-border payments and controlling financial crime are factors that come into play. We expect CBDC research, testing and implementation to intensify in 2022.”
The report provided an overview of the top ten USD-pegged stablecoins by market cap and discussed how they perform and what supports them.
He noted that stablecoins have become an “integral part of the crypto ecosystem” and it is “impossible” for any fund or institution “to be active in crypto without using stablecoins.”
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