Central Bank Digital Currency

PwC Overview

In the last decade, the advent of new technologies and the evolution of information systems has strongly shaken the banking and financial ecosystem. Financial operators have deeply transformed their services, through the so-called FinTech phenomenon and, at the same time, our life and our payment habits have radically changed, fully embracing the revolution brought about by digital innovations.

In this context, the advent of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies was the catalyst for a real revolution. Over the years, the phenomenon has grown, leading to the emergence of Libra, the virtual currency project promoted by Facebook, and other similar projects.
Central Banks have certainly not remained still in the face of this important change and have asked themselves a fundamental question:

What will be the role of the Central Bank in this context rich in innovation and to what extent its values ​​and mission will be put into practice through these new tools?

Even money can "change its skin" and one of the phenomena that could lead to a change is that of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), a new form of money inextricably linked to the Bank that issues it.

CBDCs are a relatively new concept, but the exploratory and experimental phase by various Central Banks worldwide is already well underway, as well as the interest in understanding how new technologies, such as Blockchain, can support the creation of a new form of money that brings benefits in all its applications.

The PwC Overview of Central Bank Digital Currency aims to introduce and deepen the concept of CBDC, analyzing the path that has led Central Banks all over the world to explore this innovation, retracing the technological evolution that underlies it and the needs that have determined the decision to create a new form of digital money. The report examines the different technical and economic design choices that could be configured for a CBDC, explaining impacts and consequences that these choices could have on our lives and on our payment habits, and opposing advantages with the risks.

The impact that CBDCs could have on the economic and financial system is one of the most relevant issues, and within the Overview it is described how the CBDC concept could constitute a game-changer, with the potential to enable a change within the roots of the traditional banking system. 


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Roberto Lorini

Senior Advisor | Technology FS, PwC Italy

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