The Bank of Spain (BDE), the central bank of Spain, said that it plans to start testing wholesale Central Bank Digital Currencies (CDBCs) and is looking for collaboration proposals from regional financial and technological organizations.
According to a translated Dec. 5 statement, the bank will concentrate on three key areas with the program that seeks to simulate the movement of funds, experiment with the liquidation of financial assets, and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a wholesale CBDC to its current processes and infrastructure.
In contrast to retail or general-purpose CBDCs, which are available to the general public, a wholesale CBDC is a digital currency that is primarily used by banks to maintain reserves with a central bank.
The program was described as being “unique” to the BDE and as having no connection to the work being done in the European Union to study the usage of a digital euro.
Applications for the initiative must be submitted by January 31, 2023, and prospective participants must meet the bank’s minimal requirements as well as identify their “economic means” to contribute to the project.
The study of CBDCs can help determine how much they can contribute to “adapting to the needs and demands of an increasingly digital society,” the BDE claimed in its justification for launching the program.
It also noted CBDCs are being :
“analyzed and experimented” on within a number of jurisdictions mainly focusing on a retail application, however, it stated more companies are delving into those “of a wholesale nature or interbank.”
At a central bank conference on December 8, Brad Jones, the Assistant Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), stated that a retail CBDC might cause individuals to completely leave commercial banks and possibly replace the Australian currency.
According to Jones, over 80 financial institutions have proposed use cases for the Australian dollar eAUD CBDC trial that the RBA issued on August 9. However, Jones also cautioned that banks would experience liquidity concerns if a CBDC ends up being the preferred source of assets.
Before the end of 2022, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) plans to start a trial program for a retail CBDC with a 10,000-person capacity.
This occurs after the Bank of China began testing its e-CNY in April 2020. It is now the most extensively used CBDC in the world and has completed transactions totaling $14 billion during its pilot period.
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