• 81 countries are now experimenting with central bank digital currencies, with 5 CBDCs being operational

  • According to a new tracker, eighty-one countries are now looking into central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). This is an increase of 46 countries from May of the previous year. Furthermore, five countries have completed the introduction of their own digital currencies.

    81 central banks are exploring the possibility of launching their own digital currencies.

    Last week, the Geoeconomics Center at the Atlantic Council announced a new central bank digital currency (CBDC) tracker with an interactive database.

    According to its website, the Geoeconomics Center is a “nonpartisan institution that galvanizes US leadership and engagement in the globe, in conjunction with allies and partners, to develop answers to global challenges.”

    The US Federal Reserve and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) have both used the old version of the CBDC tracker, which was launched in April last year, according to the center, which also claims that the updated tracker:

    A CBDC is being considered by 81 nations (representing over 90% of global GDP). Only 35 nations were exploring a CBDC in our first research, published in May 2020.

    The US is “farthest behind” in developing a state-backed digital currency, according to the center, “among the countries with the four largest central banks (the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England).

    The digital dollar is a “very high priority” for the Federal Reserve, according to Chairman Jerome Powell. However, he stressed the need to “getting it right” rather than rushing to establish a digital dollar to compete with China’s digital yuan. “You wouldn’t need stablecoins, you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital US currency,” the chairman recently stated. That, I believe, is one of the more compelling arguments in its favor.”

    Meanwhile, according to the Geoeconomics Center, “5 countries have now fully launched a digital currency.” The Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, and Grenada are the countries involved.

    “14 additional nations, including large economies like Sweden and South Korea, are already in the pilot stage with their CBDCs and preparing for a prospective full launch,” according to the center.

    Director of the Geoeconomics Center and former senior counselor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Josh Lipsky said:

    Central bank digital currencies were mostly a theoretical exercise before Covid. However, with the need to disperse enormous monetary and fiscal stimulus over the world, as well as the growth of cryptocurrencies, central banks have realized they can’t afford to miss out on the evolution of money.

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