Nov 21, 2023

Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center Senior Director Josh Lipsky discusses the state of CBDCs across the globe, explaining how they have evolved this year and how they might be adopted in the future.

Video transcript

Let's talk about the state of CBD CS, how they evolved this year as we head into December. Well, it's interesting, you know, I think we met probably 11 months ago and there were a lot of countries in the exploration phase. And what we saw over the past year was countries basically reaching the decision point. Do I want to put new resources to move past research into the development pilot or launch phase? So as you said, there's 100 and 30 countries exploring, but the figure I think is probably most significant for this discussion is 64. That's the countries that have moved past research and development pilot at launch. So 11 fully launched about 23 headed to the pilot stage another 20 or so in development. And what I find most significant this year is India doing wholesale and retail CBD C and the European Central Bank moving forward on the digital Euro plot. So some large economies, major central banks making progress. So the the you you you brought up India uh doing institutional versus retail uh for these other countries for the 100 some odd countries. Uh what's the breakdown roughly of this and where does it seem more natural that everyone's gonna kind of go towards the institutional side of it and, and not do the retail side because of its effect on the banking system? Should that happen? It's, you know, it's interesting because the US is obviously more focused on wholesale and retail. That's very clear, the Europeans are more focused on retail and wholesale. A lot of countries are doing both India is actually exploring both simultaneously South Korea as well. I'd say if we look at the 130 together it roughly splits even between wholesale in retail. But I give a caveat there because it's a little hard to say in the early stages of development. A lot of countries say we're exploring both and we haven't made a final decision. So it seems like countries start exploring both then choose one branch or the other. But the fact the US is leaning more towards wholesale is certainly something a lot of countries around the world pay attention to. And just since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in the past two years, we see a doubling of interest in wholesale CBD C. And so you have to look at that as that. There is some debate happening around the world about new ways of exchanging money between commercial banks across borders and could wholesale CBD C be an avenue to do that. I think that has to be one of the main drivers behind the wholesale CBD. C Interest around the world.

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