While followers of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have generally been tracking 85 to 91 projects, a new study by top consulting and accounting firm PwC found that 80% of central banks around the world are at least considering adding a digital version of their national fiat currencies.
Those numbers reflect both retail and wholesale CBDCs, the study added, led by Nigeria and Thailand, respectively.
That comes as a “rise in private sector cryptoassets” shows that with some $190 billion in circulation and “stablecoins are emerging as a complement to existing payment ecosystems,” said Haydn Jones, director and senior blockchain market specialist at PwC U.K., in its Global CBDC Index and Stablecoin Overview 2022. Like CBDCs, they can be monitored and controlled to the extent desired by individual countries.
In the U.S., Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu called for private stablecoins to be interoperable with each other and CBDCs, noting that it would “facilitate broader use of the dollar instead of a particular corporate-backed stablecoin as the base currency for trade and finance in a blockchain-based digital future.”
The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced the launch of a new CBDC project seeking to learn more about how a U.S. digital dollar design “might operate in the U.S. clearing and settlement infrastructure using distributed ledger technology (DLT).”