130 countries are exploring CBDCs
New data shows that 130 countries, representing 98% of the world’s total GDP, are now exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

TCS Wire

May 29, 2024

New data shows that 130 countries, representing 98% of the world’s total GDP, are now exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

130 countries are exploring CBDCs

According to the Atlantic Council, of those 130 countries, a new high of 64 countries are in the advanced stages of exploration, meaning they’re either launching their CBDCs, are in the pilot phase, or are in active development.

To put this in perspective, in 2020, before peak COVID hysteria and vaccine passports, only 35 countries were looking into CBDCs; now, it’s practically every government.

Based on the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker, 11 countries have already launched their CBDCs, 21 are in the pilot stage (including Russia, China, India, Japan, and Australia), and 33 are in the active development stage (including EU countries, the US, the UK, Canada, and Brazil).

However, earlier this week in the US, the Republican-led House banned the Federal Reserve from issuing CBDCs until a time when Congress can ensure that they aren’t used for mass surveillance or as tools that can be weaponized by governments.

Of the 130 countries exploring CBDCs, only 2 countries have outright cancelled their plans (Ecuador and Senegal), and the only countries, excluding Greenland, that haven’t begun exploring CBDCs are either in Africa or the Middle East.

Notably, CBDCs are also beginning to be actively used, especially in China with its digital yuan (e-CNY), which is tied into its social credit score system, and Hong Kong just launched a pilot program through which it will begin accepting digital yuan payments from Chinese banks and allow residents to set up digital wallets to use the e-CNY currency.

However, this isn’t just domestic. Recently, PetroChina completed the first-ever international crude oil trade utilizing the country’s CBDC, showing its utility and widespread acceptance in large markets.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank, representing 27 developed countries, began the preparation phase for the digital euro in November 2023, which it says will last for 2 years, during which it will select providers and finalize guidelines and regulations.

Overall, it looks like the governments of the world are acting in concert to ensure CBDCs are the future of money everywhere.

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