Nine out of 10 central banks are exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and more than half are now developing them or running concrete experiments. In particular, work on retail CBDCs has moved to more advanced stages. Both Covid-19 and the emergence of stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies have accelerated the work on CBDCs – especially in advanced economies, where central banks say that financial stability has increased in importance as a motivation for their CBDC involvement.
Globally, more than two thirds of central banks consider that they are likely to or might possibly issue a retail CBDC in either the short or medium term. Work on wholesale CBDCs is increasingly driven by reasons related to cross-border payments efficiency. Central banks consider CBDCs as capable of alleviating key pain points such as the limited operating hours of current payment systems and the length of current transaction chains.
This report presents the results of a survey of 81 central banks about their engagement in CBDC work, as well as their motivations and their intentions regarding CBDC issuance. Conducted in autumn 2021, the survey also asked for central banks’ assessment of the use of stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies (or crypto assets) in their jurisdictions.