I’ve updated my tabulation of retail central bank digital currency (#CBDC) explorers to include Guatemala and Honduras on the “unconfirmed” list. I now count/name 60 central banks. According to the end-2020 Bank for International Settlements (BIS) survey, 56 of the 65 central banks they surveyed are doing some kind of CBDC exploration, although that number includes wholesale CBDC experiments, plus they count every country separately, whereas I lump currency zones countries together (e.g., they count France, Germany, etc., separately, whereas I lump them and other Eurozone countries together).
Also, a February 2021 survey of International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chiefs suggested that CBDC are being closely analyzed, piloted, or likely to be issued in 111 member countries, although I believe that also includes wholesale CBDC and multiple counts currency zone countries.
Another reason why my count might be lower is that I actually list the countries, whereas the BIS and IMF don’t. And I only list countries who’s CBDC explorations I can confirm based on publicly-available information, ideally from the relevant central bank websites.
September 28-30 CordaCon Conference
At the September 28-30 @inside_r3 #CordaCon2021, I’ll be providing an overview of recent retail #CBDC developments. You can register for the event here: https://www.cordacon.com
On October 4 I’ll be providing an overview of international work on retail CBDC and evolving thinking on motivations, system design and safeguards at The CBDC Conference. You can register for this and the full three-day (October 4-6) event here: https://www.cbdc-conference.com/index.php
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There is also the Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker, which also has more central banks than I do (64) but they also double count currency zone countries. They also included the Marshall Islands (which has no central bank), and:-Belarus when its central bank started authorizing several of the country's commercial banks to issue digital tokens. https://cointelegraph.com/news/belarus-banks-announce-upcoming-token-pilot-program-Belize when one of its large commercial banks (National Bank of Belize) started working with Bitt to add an eWallet to existing mobile banking services. https://blog.bitt.com/national-bank-of-belize-to-launch-digital-wallet-in-2021/-Venezuela, based on news stories about President Maduro announcing that the government would be pushing for a digital bolivar. However, I haven't seen anything on this from the central bank itself. https://coingeek.com/nicolas-maduro-promises-digital-currency-surprise-for-venezuela/-Micronesia and Palau who have adopted the US dollar as their unit of account, and as far as I know, only the US Federal Reserve Board could issue a digital dollar. At best, a digital dollar issued by another country could arguably be a US dollar stablecoin. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/09/19/2096117/0/en/Sovereign-Union-Announces-CBDC-Pilot-Partnership-with-Apollo-Fintech.html
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