Jurisdictions Where Retail CBDC Is Being Explored

There are 95 central banks (up one (Mauritania) since July 31, 2023) that have recently issued, piloted, experimented with and/or researched retail central bank digital currency (#CBDC) not including two that started issuing retail CBDC and then shut the platforms down (Ecuador and Finland). The highlighted central banks indicate updates since July 31. If I’m missing anything, or you find mistakes in the tabulation, please let me know in the comments!

Just a reminder that I produce a monthly digest of central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments exclusively for the official sector. So for any of you out there who work for a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution who would like to receive it by email on the first business day of every month, please DM me on LinkedIn or email me at chronicles@kiffmeister.com.

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18 thoughts on “Jurisdictions Where Retail CBDC Is Being Explored

  1. Please activate the links on the retail CBDC table to allow access to the sources of information on each country.

    1. Thanks for catching that Asile. I’ve changed platforms and the old one allowed me to post an HTML version of the table that kept all of the Microsoft Word formatting. The new platform makes a dogs breakfast of the table by dropping all of Word’s fancy formatting, so I switched to saving the Word document as a PDF, which used to render it with live links but Word seems to have stopped doing that. I’m going to try another Word-PDF printer (Nitro) and see how that works. Stay tuned! [Update: Adobe provides a handy converter and I’ve updated the file to have clickable links. But I wonder why Microsoft pulled that feature?]

  2. Hi, John,
    I agree that CBDC interest from countries that are part of formal Monetary Unions should only be counted as the Monetary Union. One count to represent all the countries under the mandate of the single Central Bank. Examples include the Euro, ECCB, CFA Africa (BEAC and BCEAO separately), CFP (French Pacific), and more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currency_union

    1. Thanks David! I think what gets confusing in the case of Europe is that a few national central banks, like the Banque de France are running quite large scale wholesale CBDC proofs of concept. However, if an actual digital euro is issued, whether it be retail or wholesale, the sole issuer will be the European Central Bank. Some of the crypto press have misinterpreted recent Banque de France wholesale CBDC updates as implying that the Banque would issue the CBDC, but the central bank chooses its words very carefully not to give that impression.

  3. Hello John,

    Your tabulations state that the Eastern Caribbean Dcash is still in the pilot phase, however, the Atlantic council shows that all 8 countries have launched their digital currency. Please clarify the reason for the difference in the tabulations.

    1. These launch vs pilot distinctions are often judgment calls, but I try as much as possible to stick to what central banks themselves say, and the ECCB has yet to formally announce or even suggest that they’ve transitioned from pilot to launch, whereas, for example, Nigerian central bank officials have, in various speeches, said that they have transitioned to launch. In those two cases, I have also received confirmations from people working on the projects that my interpretation is probably correct. However, I think that in reality, both efforts, right from the start, were what I’d call “soft launches” because I don’t think that they had many doubts that the Bitt-based platform they’re using was the one they were going to go with. Contrast that to the Uruguay pilot of some years ago where, from the outset, it was understood that it was a limited time pilot that would be shut down and evaluated after six months. But getting back to the ECCB, if you have a link to an announcement or speech from the ECCB that indicates, or even suggests, that it is now launched, I will change my tag! BTW check out the official ECCB DCash website, where they clearly call it a pilot still: https://www.dcashec.com/

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