More Central Banks Are Exploring a CBDC, BIS Survey Finds

There's a greater chance of a wholesale CBDC being issued within six years than a retail one, according to the report.

AccessTimeIconJun 14, 2024 at 11:08 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 14, 2024 at 11:10 a.m. UTC
  • The Bank for International Settlements found that 94% of the central banks in its most recent survey were exploring a central bank digital currency.
  • The central banks said they would probably issue a wholesale CBDC for institutions before a retail one.

More central banks than ever before are exploring a central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to a Bank for International Settlements (BIS) survey published Friday.

Among the 86 banks that participated, 94% said they were looking at a digital version of their national currencies. That's up from 90% of 81 respondents in a 2021 survey conducted by the BIS, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.

Respondents also said they're more likely to issue a wholesale CBDC than a retail version within the next six years. A wholesale version would be accessible only to banks and financial institutions, while a retail version could be used by the public for day-to-day life.

Countries worldwide have been exploring whether or not to produce a digital currency for years, with China among one of the earliest. Nigeria and the Bahamas were among the first countries to issue their own CBDCs.

"For retail CBDCs, more than half of central banks are considering holding limits, interoperability, offline options and zero remuneration," the BIS said.

The survey, conducted between October 2023 and January 2024, also found that stablecoins, cryptocurrencies whose value is pegged to a specific asset such as the dollar or gold, are rarely used for payments outside the crypto ecosystem.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.