The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has found that 94% of central banks surveyed are exploring Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

But according to the report, central banks are more likely to issue wholesale CBDC than retail CBDC in the next six years.

There is a significant difference between a CBDC that's wholesale and retail. A wholesale CBDC is used for transactions that take place between banks and other financial institutions, whereas retail CBDC are meant for general public use—like buying a cup of coffee.

This may come as a massive relief to market participants, as the vocal opposition deem retail CBDC to be a form of authoritarian outreach.


Eighty six central banks took part in the BIS survey, which was conducted between October 2023 and January 2024.

The report further suggests that stablecoins are not being used outside of the wider crypto ecosystem.

“On crypto, the survey indicates that, to date, stablecoins are rarely used for payments outside the crypto ecosystem. Moreover, about two out of three responding jurisdictions have or are working on a framework to regulate stablecoins and other cryptoassets.” the authors wrote.

Currently, the total market capitalization of stablecoins across all chains stands at nearly $162 billion, an increase of approximately $32 billion from the start of the year, according to DefiLlama.


Among the central banks that are considering issuing retail CBDCs, more than half of them are contemplating safeguards like holding limits, along with implementing key features like interoperability, offline options and zero remuneration.

CBDCs are a point of great contention, and recently they have become a political issue, likely due to the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.

Earlier this week, former U.S. President Donald Trump called for the remaining Bitcoin supply to be mined in the USA. Trump claimed that Bitcoin is the last line of defense against CBDC.

The presumptive Republican nominee vowed that he will not allow a central bank digital coin if he gets re-elected as the U.S. president.

Trump, however, never clarified his stance as to how mining more Bitcoin safeguards the American citizens the central bank issuing a currency.

Earlier this year, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) revealed notes that indicated the Federal Reserve had a pro-CBDC agenda. Then in May, the U.S. House passed legislation that prevents the Federal Reserve from issuing CBDC without approval from Congress.

On May 8, J. Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), stated that all three assets—crypto, CBDCs, and stablecoins—are needed to pave the way for a global future.

“The global future is all of the above: crypto, CBDCs, stablecoins, and more,” Giancarlo said.


Editor's note: This post was updated to reflect that 94% of banks polled are considering CBDCs, but not all of them are considering wholesale CBDCs.

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

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