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World Economic Forum Says 98% of Central Banks Are Preparing To Launch CBDCs As Finance Enters ‘Next Phase’

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More than 98% of the world’s central banks are “researching, experimenting, piloting or deploying” central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF, a Switzerland-based international organization focused on public-private cooperation, predicts in a new report that there could be 24 live CBDCs by 2030.

The organization argues that wholesale CBDCs (wCBDCs), which are restricted to large transactions between financial institutions, could address banking industry challenges related to interbank payments and securities transactions.

“Central bank money (CeBM) is crucial for interbank payments and securities transactions because it is virtually free of credit and liquidity risk, enables institutions to reach settlement finality and promotes financial stability. CeBM is ideal for systemically important transactions despite the emergence of alternative payment instruments. 

Wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) is a form of CeBM that could unlock new economic models and integration points that are not possible today. wCBDCs promise to preserve the role of CeBM as a credit risk-free payment instrument by providing a foundational layer for digital payments in the next generation of financial markets.”

The WEF says wCBDCs are poised to improve cross-border transactions. The organization acknowledges, however, that the legal and regulatory elements needed to make widespread wCBDC use possible “have an unknown timeframe.”

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