IBM: a central bank will issue CBDC in five years

31 Oct 2019

As many as 73% of leading global banks have stated that central bank digital currencies (CBDC) should be available “under all circumstances”, says a new study.

According to a report compiled by technology giant IBM and the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), central banks around the world say CBDCs would be a good cash substitute in certain situations.

Published earlier this week, the report entitled “Retail CBDCs: The next payments frontier” involved banks from 13 advanced economies, reports Coin Telegraph, as well as 10 emerging markets, carried out during Q3 this year.

The study concludes: “Central banks are responding to the reality that digital currencies, either privately or publicly issued, will soon be part of the global monetary system, and that it is in their interest to ensure they are neither left behind nor displaced.”          

Although 73% of banks across the globe are in favour of CBDCs, around 82% of respondents within central banks say the biggest financial stability worry from the use of central bank digital currencies is the risk of digital bank operations at a higher speed than previously, said the report.

Furthermore, central banks are of the opinion that CBDCs should be available offline and work wherever cash is currently used.

According to the research findings, IBM and OMFIF concluded that the first CBDC is forecast to be introduced within the next five years.

The report states: “The principal conclusion is that we are likely to witness the introduction of a central bank — that is fiat — retail digital currency within the next five years, either as a complement to or as a substitute for notes and coins.”

In addition, according to the research, it is unlikely the first CBDC will come from a central bank within the G20, but perhaps a smaller, less complex economy, which according to Coin Telegraph would “address a certain policy objective such as driving resilience of a national payments system or extending financial inclusion”.

However, earlier this month, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Patrick Harker said that central bank digital currencies “are inevitable”. He stated: “Frankly I don’t think we should be the first mover as a nation to do this. [...] It is inevitable [...] I think it is better for us to start getting our hands around it.”