New Global CBDC Tracker Tool
81 countries worldwide are exploring a central bank digital currency right now, representing 90% of the global economy, Julia Friedlander told a US House committee hearing on CBDCs.
The Atlantic Council, where Friedlander works, released an online CBDC Tracker. It shows not only which countries are exploring a CBDC right now, but also other useful information.
The online map shows the stage of the CBDC project (from ‘research’ to ‘launched’). You can also filter current CBDC projects by purpose (retail, wholesale or both), architecture (direct, indirect or hybrid), type of infrastructure on which the CBDC is built (conventional, distributed ledger technology, or both) and access type (account or token-based access).
There have been a number of efforts to aggregate information on CBDC activities, but this online tool makes it very easy to compare projects.
Friedlander drew a couple of conclusions on the CBDC information gathered by her team.
‘Right now, countries are overly focused on their own domestic use cases for CBDCs,’ she said in her testimony. This echoes a BIS report, which urged countries to look beyond the domestic use-case for CBDCs and explore their cross-border payment utility.
The proliferation of domestic CBDC projects, each with their own design, can cause serious interoperability concerns later. Standards and international coordination will be needed to overcome compatibility issues. Friedlander thinks the G20 would be a suitable body to increase international cooperation on CBDCs.
CBDCs do not threaten US dollar dominance in the short term, Friedlander found, but it could do so in the medium to long-term. CBDCs could make SWIFT obsolete and reduce the reliance on US dollars for cross-border payments. ‘[I]t is this transaction aspect of dollar dominance that enables the US to
police global finance and levy powerful sanctions around the world’, she said.