A new ranking of global CBDCs puts the Bahamas at the top of all the countries in terms of retail applications. It provides an essential glimpse in the race to issue government-supported crypto. Bahamas and Cambodia are the two nations with the most advanced central bank’s retail digital currency projects. This is as per a news report published by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm).
In its 2021 “CBDC global index,” consulting firm PwC surveyed the level of central-bank maturity in leveraging cryptos based on two factors. The factors involve retail applications and interbank applications. Retail applications refer to CBDCs that can be held and transacted quickly by individuals and companies in the form of digital cash. Interbank, or wholesale, CBDCs, meantime, are limited to significant financial institutions for settlement.
Notwithstanding, China being the most advanced country in its CBDC development. It is ranked third as per the maturity of its retail CBDC project. The report displays that the Bahamas, with its Sand Dollar, is the most advanced retail CBDC. As of last year, all Bahamas residents can now avail of the currency’s digital wallet via a physical payment card or a mobile app. Moreover, Cambodia becomes the second in retail CBDC as its CBDC project is now live. China ranks third because its project is yet in the trial phase, the PWC report contended.
Bahamas Scores 92/100 for Retail CBDC
The retail CBDC ranking gave the Bahamas a score of 92 out of 100 to lead all other nations. Cambodia was second at 83, accompanied by Mainland China (75) and Ukraine (71). Fortunately, the Bahamas scored due to the successful implementation of its so-called Sand Dollar in October 2020. Supported by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Sand Dollar is a digital version of the national currency dispensed via authorized financial institutions.
The PwC report recognized that merely 23% of retail projects had entered the implementation stage, while approximately 70% of wholesale projects are leading pilot programs. Moreover, Thailand and Hong Kong show the project maturity for interbank CBDCs, both of which scored 80 out of 100. Singapore is third, with a score of 75, succeeded by Canada (69), the United Kingdom (68), and France (64). Thailand has been eyeing CBDC development after 2018, reaching a successful prototype the following year.
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