Mainland China is third behind the Bahamas and Cambodia in a ranking of the maturity of central banks’ retail digital currency projects, according to a report from PwC.
More than 60 central banks are now exploring digital currencies, with retail projects more active in emerging economies given the importance of financial inclusion, while interbank or wholesale applications tend to be more predominant in advanced economies, the report said.
The Bahamas and Cambodia take top marks in retail because their projects are already live, while China is still in the test phase. Only 23% of retail projects have reached implementation stage, while nearly 70% of wholesale projects are running pilot programs, according to the report.
“CBDCs will contribute significantly to the modernization of the international monetary landscape, hand-in-hand with reconfiguration in both payment and financial infrastructure,” PwC said. “They will generate numerous opportunities for further digitization in both corporates and financial institutions, as their integration in payment and financial infrastructure progresses.”