The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has issued its analysis on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). The paper offers useful background information, as well as points to some current strategies for larger economies.

The BIS was founded in 1930 and represents the central banks of more than 60 countries. The nations account for more than 95% of global GDP.

Digitize the Economy

The report suggests that most governments considering CBDC implementation are those with digitized and innovative economies. The more advanced the current economic climate, the more seamless the transition to digital payment forms.

This also led to the discovery that the vast majority of these governments are considering hybrid models. This would involve cash-like payment systems, but with private firms running the customer service portion of the infrastructure.

This solution reflects awareness that the digital networks necessary to make CBDCs viable for larger economies will be complex. Without help from the private sector, such platforms would be radically difficult to build and maintain.

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The report also made clear that the overwhelming majority of banks are planning to use blockchain technology. This would also suggest an abandonment of conventional infrastructure solutions for digital payment methods.

Interestingly, should blockchain-style technology prevail, it would allow governmental awareness to function at a higher level. Cash allows for some level of anonymity, but trackable digital payments are completely transparent to network managers.

Long Road Ahead

While much has been said in the media regarding such changes, actual implementation may be complex, per the report. Much depends on the motivations for issuance.

Those nations where issuance would have an immediate beneficial impact and where current technical awareness is high, may develop more quickly. Nations lacking in technical awareness, or without substantial immediate motivations will likely take substantially longer for development.

The report concludes with evaluations of China, Sweden, and Canada, all with varying digital currency approaches.