Visualized: The State of Central Bank Digital Currencies

Visualized: The State of Central Bank Digital Currencies

Central banks around the world are getting involved with digital currencies, but some are more advanced than others.

In this map, we’ve used data from the Atlantic Council’s Currency Tracker to visualize the status of each central bank’s digital currency effort.

Digital Currency – The Basics

Digital currencies have been around since the 1980s, but only became very popular with the launch of Bitcoin in 2009. Today, there are thousands of digital currencies, also known as “cryptocurrencies”.

A defining characteristic of cryptocurrencies is that they are based on a blockchain ledger. Blockchains can be decentralized or centralized, but today’s most well-known cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) tend to be decentralized in nature. This makes transfers and payments very difficult to trace as there is no single entity with full control.

Government-issued digital currencies, on the other hand, will be controlled by a central bank and will likely be easily traceable. They would have the same value as local currency, but would instead be issued digitally without physical form.

Digital currencies of central banks around the world

105 countries are currently exploring centralized digital currencies. Together they represent 95% of global GDP. The table below lists the data used in the infographic.

Country Status Use case
Nigeria Spear Detail
The Bahamas Spear Detail
Jamaica Spear Detail
Anguilla Spear Detail
Saint Kitts and Nevis Spear Detail
Antigua and Barbuda Spear Detail
Montserrat Spear Detail
Dominica Spear Detail
St. LUCIA Spear Detail
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Spear Detail
Grenade Spear Detail
Sweden Pilot Detail
Lithuania Pilot Detail
Ukraine Pilot Undecided
Kazakhstan Pilot Detail
Russia Pilot Detail
China Pilot Both
Thailand Pilot Both
hong kong Pilot Both
South Korea Pilot Detail
Saudi Arabia Pilot Wholesale
United Arab Emirates Pilot Wholesale
Singapore Pilot Wholesale
Malaysia Pilot Wholesale
South Africa Pilot Both
Canada Development Both
Belize Development Undecided
Haiti Development Both
Venezuela Development Both
Brazil Development Detail
Turkey Development Detail
Iran Development Detail
Bahrain Development Wholesale
India Development Both
Mauritius Development Both
Bhutan Development Both
Cambodia Development Detail
Indonesia Development Both
Palau Development Both
Australia Development Both
Japan Development Both
Spain Development Detail
France Development Both
Netherlands Development Detail
Swiss Development Wholesale
Italy Development Undecided
Germany Development Undecided
Estonia Development Detail
Lebanon Development Detail
Israel Development Detail
Eurozone Development Both
United States To research Detail
Mexico To research Detail
Guatemala To research Undecided
Honduras To research Undecided
Trinidad and Tobago To research Undecided
Colombia To research Undecided
Peru To research Undecided
Paraguay To research Undecided
Chile To research Detail
Iceland To research Detail
UK To research Both
Morocco To research Detail
Ghana To research Detail
Namibia To research Undecided
Eswatini To research Both
madagascar To research Detail
Zimbabwe To research Undecided
Zambia To research Undecided
Tanzania To research Undecided
Rwanda To research Undecided
Uganda To research Undecided
Kenya To research Detail
Tunisia To research Wholesale
Oman To research Undecided
Kuwait To research Detail
Jordan To research Undecided
Georgia To research Detail
Belarus To research Undecided
Norway To research Detail
Czech Republich To research Undecided
Pakistan To research Detail
Nepal To research Undecided
Bangladesh To research Undecided
Burma To research Undecided
Laos To research Both
Vietnam To research Undecided
Macau To research Undecided
Taiwan To research Both
Philippines To research Detail
New Zealand To research Detail
Vanuatu To research Undecided
Fiji To research Undecided
Tonga To research Undecided
Palestine To research Detail
Jordan To research Undecided
Austria To research Wholesale
Hungary To research Detail
Bermuda Idle Undecided
Saint-Martin Idle Detail
curacao Idle Detail
Argentina Idle Undecided
Uruguay Idle Detail
Denmark Idle Detail
Azerbaijan Idle Undecided
Egypt Idle Undecided
North Korea Idle Undecided
Finland Idle Detail
Ecuador Canceled Detail
Senegal Canceled Detail

Once aggregated, we can see that the majority of countries are in the to research arrange.

central bank digital currencies by status

We’ve also split the map by region for easier viewing.

Africa

African digital currencies

Asia

Asian digital currencies

Europe

European digital currencies

Middle East

Middle Eastern Digital Currencies

South America

South American Digital Currencies

North America

North American digital currencies

What are the benefits?

One of the main benefits of government-issued digital currencies is that they can improve access for the underbanked.

This is not a major problem in developed countries like the United States, but many people in developing countries do not have access to banks and other financial services (hence the term underbanked). As the number of Internet users continues to climb, digital currencies represent a sensible solution.

For more on this topic, check out this article from Global Finance, which lists the most underbanked countries in the world in 2021.

The 9%

To date, only 9% of countries have launched a digital currency.

This includes Nigeriawhich became the first African country to do so in October 2021. Half of the country’s 200 million people are said to have no access to bank accounts.

Adoption of eNaira (the digital version of the naira) has so far been relatively slow. The eNaira app has racked up 700,000 downloads in April 2022. This equates to 0.35% of the population, although not all uploads are users in Nigeria.

Conversely, 33.4 million There have been reports of Nigerians trading or owning crypto assets, despite attempts by the Central Bank of Nigeria to restrict usage.

Status in the United States

The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, has not decided whether it will implement a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Our primary focus is whether and how a CBDC could improve an already secure and efficient US domestic payments system.
– Federal Reserve

To learn more, see the Federal Reserve’s January 2022 paper on the pros and cons of CBDCs.

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