The study found that central banks collectively representing a fifth of the global population will likely issue a general-purpose CBDC by 2024, according to BIS.
A survey asked banks if they were currently working on CBDCs, additionally asking about their motives. There were 65 banks that responded to the survey, and the respondents represented 72 percent of the global population and 91 percent of global economic output, BIS said.
In the past four years, 86 percent of central banks have been actively doing some kind of work on CBDCs, according to BIS. Work on retail CBDCs has become more popular, with some banks narrowing their focus down to just retail, while others are doing both wholesale and retail.
According to the survey, the banks not currently doing work on CBDCs are mostly in smaller jurisdictions, and the ones doing the most work are in areas with high mobile phone use, innovation capacity and internet search results, BIS said.
Sixty percent of central banks are doing experiments or proof-of-concept, BIS said. However, doing more CBDC work doesn’t mean the banks are absolutely going to launch CBDCs, although it does “demonstrate a strong interest.”
Emerging markets and developing economies are strong boosters of cryptocurrency as they are looking for ways to expand financial inclusion, BIS said. One example of that is the Bahamas with the Sand Dollar, which was rolled out to help boost financial inclusion on the Bahamas’ 30 inhabited islands, many of them small and separate from one another.
Digital currencies, according to the report, should be easily workable to exchange with paper bills or coins, including on the global stage.