CBDC is a term for Central Bank Digital Currency. We hear that term more often than before, with cryptocurrencies getting increasingly popular nowadays. The acceptance of digital forms of money is rising in light of Bitcoin’s success. Bitcoin is leading the transformation of money, with its history exceeding 12 years. The biggest problem that money can face is double-spending, but blockchain technology fixes it.
U.S. dollar is the most adopted and used money in crypto markets too. The majority of the transactions and trades in the world are done using U.S. Dollar. So far, it seems like the U.S. government and treasury are not likely to step up for the CBDC form of Dollar. There are private companies to provide a digital form of U.S. dollars. Circle’s USDC and Tether’s USDT are already largely adopted and used as a digital form of Dollar.
China is the only major economy that has launched a CBDC. Chinese digital Yuan is now used in some areas, and citizens can ride in public transportation with digital payments. The city of Ningbo, which is located in Northeast China, has announced that digital Yuan will payments will be accepted in more than 125 metro stations. Digital Chinese Yuan is shown as e-CNY. China has the most developed national digital currency project in the world for now.
There is no sign of collective work on CBDC in Europe as a Union. There are different opinions from different countries and central banks across Europe. The Governor of the Banque de France stated that France is very likely to start working on wholesale CBDCs in a finance forum - Paris, 12 July 2022. (source).
There have been meetings and forums among the European Central Banks leaders, and they have been discussing creating a digital form of payment, but there is no sign of any further step so far. The dominant view in Europe on digital currency is to start with wholesale among large banks.
Russia has started testing digital currency and plans to complete tests in 2024. Russian Central Bank is holding trials on customer-to-customer and customer-to-business, and business-to-customer types of transactions secured with blockchain or distributed ledger technology. Digital Ruble will be used in wholesale and retail payments.
Japan was one of the first countries to test digital currency, but the authorities announced that Japan would postpone digital currency plans because there was not enough public interest in it. Japanese citizens mostly use cash in daily transactions. Even though Japan is a leading innovative country, Japanese society hasn’t developed a digital form of money habits.
Australia, Thailand, and Indonesia explored use cases and started a pilot study about CBDCs. Different countries have different views on digital money. For example, Indonesia’s digital rupiah will be available before the year 2022 ends, and the digital money will be used among the big large banks only. It is called wholesale CBDC. On the other hand, Thailand is planning to start pilot studies for retail CBDC.