Nearly all central banks are researching whether to issue a central bank digital currency, according to a Bank for International Settlements survey.

Key Findings:

  • At the end of 2023, 94% of responding central banks were engaged in CBDC work.

  • Most central banks are working on both retail and wholesale CBDCs.

  • Central banks expect to launch a little later than they expected to last year.

  • The likelihood that a wholesale CBDC will be issued within the next six years is now greater than that for retail.

  • There could be six additional retail and nine wholesale CBDCs publicly circulating towards the end of this decade.

  • No jurisdiction reported any significant stablecoin usage for payments outside the crypto ecosystem.

  • 63% said they have accelerated their work on CBDCs in reaction to developments in stablecoins and other cryptoassets.

U.S. State of Play: The Federal Reserve is researching the merits of a U.S. CBDC while Congress determines whether to permit the Fed to issue a digital dollar. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly said congressional authorization is needed for his agency to issue a CBDC, while Fed governors such as Christopher Waller and Michelle Bowman have expressed skepticism about the need for one.

ICBA View on CBDCs: ICBA strongly opposes the creation of a U.S. CBDC and has advocated House-passed legislation restricting the ability of the federal government to introduce a CBDC. The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act (H.R. 5403), which the House passed following this year’s ICBA Capital Summit, would bar the Federal Reserve from issuing a CBDC or using a CBDC to implement monetary policy.

Stablecoin Response: A recent ICBA blog post spotlights “pig butchering” scams, which depend on stablecoins like Tether to defraud victims and launder the proceeds. In the post, ICBA Senior Vice President of Digital Assets and Innovation Policy Brian Laverdure says these scams demand policymaker actions to strengthen protections against the crypto sector.