2020 will go down in history as The Year™ of many things: COVID, of course; the year of one of the most divisive US presidential elections in history. (And, perhaps for some crypto hopefuls, the year that Bitcoin regained $20k.)
However, 2020 will also likely go down in history as the beginning of a new financial era: one that is primarily digital in nature. Specifically, 2020 may be remembered as the year that central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, entered the international financial policy conversation in a serious way.
Indeed, for the past several months, it almost seems as though another country or international body is announcing a new study, pilot program, exploration of, or report on how a CBDC might work in its jurisdiction.
In addition to China, which announced the upcoming launch of its own national digital currency several years ago, several other nations have announced plans to launch digital currencies. The Bahamas recently became one of the first countries in the world to officially launch a CBDC, which was dubbed the ‘Sand Dollar’; just this week, Lebanon’s central bank governor said the country is preparing to launch a digital currency in 2021.