Two-thirds of people would use a central bank digital currency

86% of central banks are actively looking into a CBDC

Stylised concept of a central bank digital currency and blockchain software                                 
Nearly two-thirds of European, Asian and US adults would use a central bank digital currency
                                

Nearly two-thirds of European, Asian and US adults said they would be likely to use a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Research from European deep-tech company Guardtime found that 64% of people are likely to use a CBDC and 33% said they would be very likely to use one.  

Only a tenth (10%) said they would never use a CBDC, but 33% said they would even be willing to convert their savings into CBDC within a month of a successful launch.

Roughly a quarter (26%) would do the same but within six months, while only 11% said they would never convert savings into a CBDC.

Just under a third (30%) would happily have their salary paid in a CBDC within a month and 27% after one to six months. However, about one in 10 people (12%) would never want their pay in a CBDC.  

Majority of central banks looking in to CBDCs

Further research from the Bank of International Settlements shows that 86% of central banks are actively looking into a CBDC.  

Another 60% are experimenting with the technology and 14% deploying pilot projects.

Guardtime believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of all aspects of society and that the first major CBDC could be launched within three years.  

Privacy most important factor for CBDC

The most important features for a CBDC, according to consumers, are privacy, followed by ease of use and not being expensive.

Being able to use a CBDC internationally and when there is no internet access were also key points.

Consumers do not wish CBDCs to replace cash but 31% said they would be willing to carry out more than half of their transactions through CBDCs.

Luukas Ilves, head of strategy at Guardtime, said: “People worldwide have embraced rapid digitisation during the coronavirus crisis, and that appears to be reflected in the relative enthusiasm for the launch of digital currencies from central banks.

“It is fascinating to see that 64% of people would be willing to use CBDCs – even though they have not been launched yet – and are happy to support and trust central banks to ensure digital currencies are delivered.

“The work by central banks worldwide on CBDCs has been notable for its speed and coordination, and underlines why they are winning the trust of consumers on delivering digital transformation.”

Guardtime says it believes the introduction of central bank digital currencies "could upend the global economic order”. However, it points out there are “important technological barriers" to overcome first regarding scalability and security.

Researchers interviewed a total of 902 adults aged 18+ from Germany, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, the UK, US, France, Hong Kong, Sweden and Norway.

Further reading: South Korea and Ghana move even closer to launching CBDCs

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