The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic crisis have indelibly altered our daily lives. One of the profound changes has been the acceleration in the shift towards digital payments, as customers avoided cash over fears it might spread the virus, and as retailers adapted by moving their activity online.
Two such new developments are central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and “stablecoins”. Central banks are actively looking at CBDCs, and demand for digital means of payments is here to stay. A Bank for International Settlements (BIS) survey found that more than 85% of central banks are exploring or researching CBDC, although in many cases their issuance is not yet concluded.