Bahamas CBDCs rank first in the ranking of retail central bank digital currency projects, according to a report from PwC. Meanwhile, Cambodia and China rank second and third respectively in terms of the maturity of the digital currency projects.
Interestingly, the global consulting firm ranked China, the country currently leading in the CBDC race, only behind Bahamas and Cambodia due to sensible reasons. As per the PwC report, the digital currency projects of Bahamas and Cambodia are already live.
On the counterpart, China is still in its test phase. Only 23% of China’s retail projects have reached the implementation stage, while nearly 70% of wholesale projects are still onto pilot programs.
The report further highlighted that more than 60 central banks all over the world are currently exploring digital currencies.
Meanwhile, retail projects are more active in emerging economies given the importance of financial inclusion, while interbank or wholesale applications tend are more found in advanced economies, points out PwC’s report, while adding:
“CBDCs will contribute significantly to the modernization of the international monetary landscape, hand-in-hand with reconfiguration in both payment and financial infrastructure. They will generate numerous opportunities for further digitization in both corporates and financial institutions, as their integration in payment and financial infrastructure progresses.”
The report also said more than 88% of CBDC projects are at the testing or production phase using blockchain as the underlying technology.
Even though, having blockchain technology as its underlying technology isn’t necessary, it offers secured transfer of ownership, transparent auditing, and increased interoperability with other digital assets, per the report.
Henri Arslanian, global crypto leader at PwC, commented that the general public will be the beneficiaries of CBDCs:
“The general public will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of CBDCs as it will give them access for the first time to a digital form of central bank money. And that is a big milestone in the evolution of money.”