The Bank of International Settlements, or BIS for short, is known as the central bank for other central banks. In January 2020, the BIS published a new research paper — not its first one — on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Eight months ago, the BIS found that 80% of all the central banks they surveyed were investigating CBDCs, and 40% had moved from the research stage to the concept and design stage.
Meanwhile the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank (ECB) have expressed interest in digital currency and research, and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is potentially years ahead of the competition in rolling out an e-yuan, with mass trials underway involving real-world commercial use.
It is often hard to tell how serious an experimental technology actually is, or how close it is to creating real change. There is a wide gap between purely theoretical concepts (the stuff of science fiction) and hard-edged application (stuff that shows up at your doorstep, or on your smartphone).