Many countries are preparing, and some have already launched, digital currency projects. Known as Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), will centralized digital currency become an important step in the world economy’s evolution?
HOW IS EVERYTHING ORGANIZED?
CBDC is a digital form of central bank-issued fiat money. CBDCs take the form of a digital token whose value is tied to the value of the national currency.
Government interest is understandable. CBDCs have several important state benefits: the ability to track cash flow, reduce the amount of cash and related costs, control the circulation of funds, provide an alternative to less-regulated cryptocurrencies and increase transaction speed.
CBDCs combine the capabilities of fiat money, digital money and cryptocurrency. Centralized digital currencies duplicate the role of fiat money while using blockchain technologies and offering various methods of interaction in the digital environment.
SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?
From an information security standpoint, the use of encryption methods make CBDC a fairly reliable means of payment. Tokens are difficult to counterfeit or use for fraudulent purposes. With blockchain technologies, each transaction has its own trace; the log of all transactions is kept in a digital ledger impossible to delete or overwrite. The possibility of threats from fraudsters is significantly reduced with CBDC.
It is assumed that digital currency can be programmed for specific intended uses. This can be useful for government payments for targeted support, as well as for organizations looking to control budget expenditures only for certain needs.
CBDC will not completely replace standard monetary units, but it does offer a convenient alternative, being fully interchangeable with national currency in cash and non-cash forms.
So far, 11 countries have fully launched CBDC projects; 18 countries have CBDC projects in pilot stages; and 72 more countries are in the development and planning stage.
HOW SHOULD BANKS ADAPT?
It is assumed that users will be able to access their CBDC wallet and select a priority payment method without leaving their bank’s app or website. For consumers, online banking will give them the ability to open accounts for CBDC operations and exchange money for digital coins via their banking app. However, all digital assets will not be held by a commercial bank but by a central bank.
An additional planned way to access CBDC is a wallet as a separate application from the central bank, which will make it simple and convenient to store digital money for offline payments. This will be possible due to the accounting of coins through electronic codes directly on the user’s device versus traditional account records stored in banks’ databases, as with ordinary non-cash money.
With both options, transfers between user accounts will be possible through wallet or mobile phone number. Payment at retail outlets can be made either through a QR code or through contactless payment.
The advent of CBDC has led payment systems and commercial banks to prepare their infrastructures for seamless work with new means of payment, ensuring that their systems keep up with the coming changes.
Solanteq will provide banks with a roadmap to implement CBDC-optimized technology, and help integrate the capabilities of CBDC wallets into financial operations.
For example, banks will be able to issue payment cards connected to CBDCs, facilitate transactions for buying and selling digital coins, and provide access to wallets through user-friendly interfaces on their apps. The CBDC initiative presents exciting opportunities for collaboration between financial institutions across the globe. Beyond fast transfers and domestic economic process automation, CBDCs also unlock the potential to leverage smart contracts and digital currencies for cross-border transfers, eliminating the need for intermediary conversions and high fees.