At a recent conference of the Fair Value Forum of IDC Herzliya, Deputy Governor of Bank of Israel Andrew Abir has confirmed that Israel has already tested a Digital Shekel.
Surprised, another member of the panel asked him whether the government has issued a digital coin, Abir responded in the affirmative. Though he was not optimistic about the launch of any such central-bank digital currency (CBDC). He also referred to Bitcoin as a “pyramid scam.”
The reports suggested that this was an unintended reveal by the Deputy Governor.
Contradictions with The Bank
Despite that, he clarified that earlier he had estimated the probability of launching one within five years to be 20%. Now, he claims that his estimates have increased to nearly 50% chance because other countries are advancing with it.
However, the Bank of Israel has not made any official announcement about the issuance of a digital shekel so far. Last month, the bank said that it was preparing an action plan to explore the benefits of a CBDC on the Israeli economy and outweigh the costs and potential risks.
Other countries are also testing CBDCs
According to reports, 80% of the central banks in the world have also considered testing CBDCs at some point. So far, only the Bahamas and Cambodia have officially introduced digital currencies.
Sweden has already carried out several trial phases on its digital currency, e-krona. Now, evaluation is underway for the utilization of this digital currency for retail and commercial transactions.
The Banque de France also announced on Monday that they have also conducted a CBDC experiment on the settlement of listed securities. They also stated that in collaboration with SEBA bank, experiments are still ongoing until mid-2021.
The Peoples Bank of China is also set to test digital yuan for cross-border transactions.