CBDC: Central Bank Digital Currency

Triston Martin

Jul 29, 2023

As technology continues to evolve rapidly, so do our money management methods. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) provides a revolutionary alternative to traditional banking services and payment networks.

This next-generation financial system has the potential to completely revolutionize how individuals and businesses send, receive, store, and invest their money.

CBDC introduces innovative features that improve upon existing payment solutions infrastructure offering innovative benefits such as quick transfers between accounts with low fees and KYC/AML compliance processing requirements for transaction acknowledgment within seconds from any device in a secure manner without the need for intermediaries.

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of CBDC's features and advantages over current systems and explore some of its key challenges that must be addressed before it can become widely adopted globally.

What Is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is a digital form of central bank money that can be used for payments, transfers, and investments. Unlike traditional banking services and payment networks, CBDCs are issued by national governments or regulatory authorities and backed by legal tender.

Understanding Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are digital forms of fiat money issued by a central bank that can be used to make payments and exchange value digitally. They offer a payment system alternative to traditional banking services and have the potential to completely revolutionize how individuals and businesses transfer, receive, store, and invest their money.

CBDCs also offer numerous advantages, such as reducing transaction costs associated with cross-border remittance payments and providing greater access to credit in economically disadvantaged countries.

CBDCs are still in the early stages of development, and their potential implications need to be further explored and understood before they can become an integral part of the global financial system. However, with continued technological advancements, these digital currencies will likely expand their reach and gain wider acceptance.

Goals of CBDCs

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) aim to provide an alternative to traditional banking services and payment networks while offering innovative features that improve existing infrastructure. CBDCs can revolutionize how individuals and businesses send, receive, store, and invest money.


CBDCs could offer increased access to financial services for those in the U.S. and other countries who currently don't have access to traditional banking services. In the U.S., 5% of adults didn't have a bank account in 2020, and 13% used costly alternative services like payday loans, money orders, and check-cashing services instead.

By providing a low-cost alternative for those without access to traditional banking services, CBDCs could help alleviate financial stress and economic instability.


CBDCs offer quicker transfers between accounts than existing payment systems. This would reduce transaction costs, eliminating the need for third-party payment networks. Additionally, using a digital currency would also make it easier to send funds across borders.


Using CBDC eliminates the need for transaction mediators or intermediaries, making them more secure and private than existing payment solutions. Transactions conducted using CBDCs are recorded on a distributed ledger system known as the blockchain, making tampering with or falsifying records virtually impossible.

Financial Security

Unlike cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are backed by a government and controlled by a central bank. This gives users the security that their money is safe from market volatility or hackers. Additionally, the blockchain technology used to create digital currencies makes them harder to counterfeit or steal than traditional paper currencies.

KYC/AML Compliance

Using CBDCs simplifies and streamlines KYC/AML compliance processes for businesses and consumers alike. The distributed ledger technology used in digital currencies allows for secure storage of customer data that can be accessed quickly.

This could reduce operational costs and help protect customers' identities more securely than traditional banking services.

Types of CBDCs

There are two main types of CBDCs: wholesale and retail.

Wholesale CBDCs

Wholesale CBDCs are primarily used by financial institutions such as banks, funds, brokers, or other market makers. These institutions receive an account with the central bank to deposit reserves or use to settle cross-border transactions.

The central bank can then utilize tools like reserve requirements or interest on reserve balances to control the money supply and influence lending rates. This digital currency helps improve the efficiency and speed of settling payments between institutions.

Retail CBDCs

Retail CBDCs are government-backed digital currencies that individuals and businesses can use for everyday transactions. This type of currency eliminates the risk associated with private digital currency issuers backed by a central bank. There are two types of retail CBDCs: token-based and account-based.

  • Token-Based Retail CBDCs: Token-based retail CBDCs provide users access to their accounts using public or private keys, allowing them to execute anonymous transactions. This form of validation offers more privacy than regular banking systems, allowing users to stay anonymous while making purchases.
  • Account-Based Retail CBDCs: Account-based retail CBDCs require digital identification to access an account. This form of access is more secure, as it allows the central bank to monitor user activity and prevent money laundering and other illegal activities. However, users may be required to provide personal information to open an account with a central bank, which can reduce privacy levels compared to token-based systems.

Issues CBDCs Address and Create

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) offers an alternative to traditional banking services and payment networks, potentially revolutionizing how individuals and businesses send, receive, store, and invest their money. For CBDCs to fully realize their revolutionary power, several critical issues must first be addressed.

Issues Addressed By CBDCs

  • CBDCs eliminate the third-party risk of events such as bank failures and bank runs, placing the remaining risk with the central bank.
  • Cross-border transaction costs are reduced through complex distribution systems and increased jurisdictional cooperation between governments.
  • Additionally, CBDCs protect and supportU.S. dollar dominance by expanding access to the general public and setting up a direct connection between consumers and central banks, eliminating costly infrastructure.

Issues Created By CBDCs

  • The financial structure changes caused by switching to a CBDC could have wide-reaching effects on household expenses, investments, banking reserves, interest rates, the financial services sector, or even the economy as a whole. Similarly, it is unknown what effect switching to a CBDC would have on the financial system's stability.
  • Central banks must ensure they still have the tools to positively impact the economy through monetary policy, as switching to CBDC could directly affect inflation, interest rates, lending, and spending.
  • Privacy is also an important factor when considering CBDCs due to their vulnerability to cyber threats, and central banks should consider how much intrusion they need to monitor for financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

CBDCs vs. Cryptocurrencies

There are two main options for digital money: Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and cryptocurrencies. While they both serve the same purpose of providing a digital form of payment, there are major differences between them.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were created to replace traditional currency, while CBDCs are akin to electronic versions of local currencies.

With CBDCs, central banks issue a digital version of their national currency that is not only backed by real assets but also subject to government oversight. This ensures that CBDCs remain reliable and trustworthy compared to other forms of digital money.

Additionally, CBDCs come with built-in features such as smart contracts and instant payments that make them more secure and efficient than cryptocurrencies.

Finally, CBDCs can be used to create a financial infrastructure that cuts out the mediator, making transactions faster and more cost-effective while providing increased transparency.


Will CBDC be a cryptocurrency?

No, CBDC is not cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange, while CBDCs are digital versions of local currencies backed by the central bank.

Is the U.S. going to a digital dollar?

The U.S. is exploring the possibility of issuing a digital dollar, but official plans have yet to be announced.

Can I use CBDCs for international payments?

Yes, CBDCs can be used for cross-border payments if they are accepted and supported by both countries involved in the transaction.


Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is an innovative concept that could revolutionize the world of finance. Users can transfer funds without relying on intermediaries by offering a direct payment method through digital currency from central banks. This may reduce costs and bring more efficiency to the system while providing more control over the money in circulation.

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