Bank for International Settlements reports CBDCs have seized global attention this year.

The Bank for International Settlements’ new working paper analyzes the global state of CBDC research and development work, technical approaches, and policy stances. The report published on 24 August says the interest of central banks in CBDCs has increased by a lot this year. The BIS research draws on over 16,000 central bank speeches from recent years and assesses existing CBDC designs and motivations behind various countries’ embrace of the new model.


Worldwide internet searches for CBDCs surpassed bitcoin. 

The report states that attitudes about whether central banks should issue them [CBDCs] have changed noticeably over the past year. The BIS data also revealed that in 2020, worldwide internet searches for CBDCs surpassed searches for Bitcoin (BTC) and Facebook’s Libra. The data supports the report’s claim that even though the concept of CBDCs was proposed decades ago, “CBDCs have seized global attention” this year. The Bank for International Settlements had also reported that the ongoing pandemic has exemplified the need for CBDCs.

 The report cited many factors that led to the rise in the interest of CBDCs. The report points to the announcement of Facebook’s Libra and the subsequent public sector response in 2019 as an unmistakable “tipping point.” “Social distancing measures, public concerns that cash may transmit the virus and new government-to-person payment schemes have further sped up the shift toward digital payments,” the report stated. 


Central banks across countries explore CBDCs. 

China is all set to become the world’s first major nation to issue its central bank-backed digital currency. The People’s Bank of China has been working on the centralized digital currency for the last five to six years and is now very close to issuing it to the general public. Central banks of England, Japan, Philippines, USA, Canada, and several other countries are exploring the idea of issuing CBCDs.