The future of money is digital. It is estimated that more than 80% of central banks are considering launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or have already done so. The 2022 PwC CBDC Global Index analyzes and ranks the leading retail and wholesale CBDC projects. The Index evaluates the current stage of CBDC project development also taking into account central bank opinion and public interest.
Overall, retail CBDC projects (digital currencies designed for public use) have reached greater maturity levels than wholesale projects (digital currencies used by financial institutions that have accounts with central banks), but the past year has seen progress on a number of successful wholesale pilots.
Retail projects in the Index are led by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) eNaira, the first CBDC in Africa, and the Sand Dollar, issued by the Central Bank of the Bahamas as legal tender in October 2020, making the Bahamas the first country to launch a CBDC. China became the first major economy to pilot a CBDC in 2020 with the digital yuan, and as of March 2022 pilot programs are running in 12 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
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