Global CBDC Progress: March 2024 Update

CBDC | March 18, 2024

Interactive CBDC Global Tracker

The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Tracker on the Atlantic Council’s website provides a comprehensive overview of the global landscape of CBDCs, which are virtual currencies backed and issued by central banks. As of March 2024, here are some key findings from the tracker:

Global Interest: 134 countries and currency unions, representing 98% of global GDP, are exploring CBDCs. This is a significant increase from May 2020, when only 35 countries were considering CBDCs.

Advanced Stages: Currently, 68 countries are in the advanced phase of CBDC exploration, which includes development, pilot programs, or launch.

See:  Japan to Pilot CBDC this April

G20 Involvement: 19 of the G20 countries are now in the advanced stages of CBDC development, with 11 of these countries already in the pilot stage. This group includes Brazil, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, Russia, and Turkey.

Full Launches: Three countries have fully launched a CBDC: the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Nigeria.

Technical Challenges: The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, consisting of 8 countries, halted the availability of DCash due to technical issues and is developing a new pilot.

Pilot Programs: There is a record high of 36 ongoing CBDC pilots, including the digital euro. The European Central Bank (ECB) is in the preparation phase, conducting practical tests with some transactions being settled in a controlled environment, aiming for a 2-year preparation stage ending in 2025.

US Progress Stalled: Progress on retail CBDC has stalled in the US, with a widening gap between the US and G7 banks, including the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan. CBDC has become an issue in the ongoing US presidential campaign.

See:  MAS: Programmable Retail CBDC trials to begin in Singapore

BRICS and New Members: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the founding members of BRICS, are in the pilot phase of CBDC exploration. New members like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the UAE are exploring cross-border wholesale CBDCs.

Cross-border Projects: There are currently 13 cross-border wholesale CBDC projects, including mBridge, which connects China, Thailand, the UAE, and Hong Kong, and is expanding to 11 more countries this year.

China’s Digital Yuan: As the largest CBDC pilot in the world, China’s digital yuan (e-CNY) reaches 260 million wallets across 25 cities, focusing on optimizing overseas tourist use and expanding cross-border applications in 2024.

Stay Up To Date

Whether you agree or disagree with CDBC implications, it’s imperative to stay informed.

The tracker also discusses the motivations behind CBDCs, such as promoting financial inclusion, introducing competition in the payments market, increasing efficiency in payments, and improving transparency in money flows.

See:  Republican Senators Move to Block CBDCs in U.S. (again)

It highlights the challenges of implementing CBDCs, including the risk of bank runs, operational risks like cyber attacks, and the need for a robust regulatory framework.

It touches on the national security implications of CBDCs, particularly concerning the United States’ ability to track cross-border flows and enforce sanctions.

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