A mounting desire among several central banks in Asia to create their own digital currencies could open the doors for asset owners into an asset class that looks set to be far better regulated and controlled than cryptocurrencies, predict investment experts.
China, Korea, Japan and other nations are all eyeing plans to roll out central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the coming year or two. Their plans are emerging as the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has seen its price rise rapidly but jaggedly in recent weeks.
The value of a bitcoin hit daily records in late December and early January, only to fall by as much as 17% on January 4, before swiftly regaining this ground and climbing above it to $35,242.5 as of 4.30pm on Monday (January 11).
This performance underlines the view of most institutional investors that cryptocurrencies are too unpredictable to be trusted. But CBDCs offer what is likely to be a safer alternative.
“Every central bank globally has done some sort of market engagement, outreach, or discussion [about CBDCs] and we have been involved in a number of those discussions,” said Neil Sheppard, chief operation officer of financial services at Diginex, a Nasdaq-listed digital asset financial services and advisory.
“I think it’s happening. The question to answer is: What is the purpose of CBDCs? Is it really for trading… or more to enable that technology to [ease] the transfer of value?”