As published on pymnts.com, Wednesday 26 May, 2021.
The Bank of Mauritius, based in France, is aiming to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by the end of this year, CoinDesk reported.
“CBDCs will be here to complement, and to address gaps that the traditional monetary system is not able to fulfill,” said Bank of Mauritius Governor Harvesh Seegolam, speaking at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021.
Globally, central banks are looking into the possibility of digitizing their fiat currencies. However, there are still issues surrounding compliance, security and privacy.
The panel encompassed OECD Director Greg Medcraft and Loretta Joseph, a FinTech advisor with the financial services commission of Mauritius, per CoinDesk.
“I believe that in most countries, it will be optional whether a person chooses to actually use a CBDC,” Medcraft predicted, adding that “stablecoins and state-issued CBDCs” can possibly work side-by-side.
Seegolam noted that Mauritius has been in discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding how to design a CBDC. He also told CoinDesk that a major concern among central banks when considering issuing digital fiat is financial inclusion.
Norway is eyeing a central bank digital currency, and Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen has said that exploring the new currency and its pros and cons is a priority in the region. Meanwhile, the National Bank for the Republic of Kazakhstan said it plans to call its new digital coin the "digital tenge."
Investors and central banks are now paying close attention to the volatile crypto market. Smaller nations are said to be venturing into CBDCs before the heavyweights step in. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) launched DCash — a “securely minted digital version” of the Eastern Caribbean dollar — and the Central Bank of the Bahamas introduced the Sand Dollar.