Undertaken by Chinese tech-giants such as Huawei and ZTE, Chinese companies...
2020-09-07 1 ENGLISH REPORTS
An alternative is to base access on so-called digital tokens. 19 This allows for value-based payment options, for example pre-paid CBDC banknotes that can be exchanged both physically and digitally. Yet this also brings new risks of illicit activity and counterfeiting. Closely tied to the domestic access framework is the fourth design choice, the use of CBDC for cross-border payments, which relates to the retail and wholesale interlinkages in a CBDC’s design and its accessibility for residents vs non-residents. Token-based domestic access would naturally be open to anyone, including nonresidents. But central banks may allow for use by non-residents. Graph 7 classifies the attributes of ongoing retail CBDC projects. Among the retail CBDC projects in our sample, we find a wide variety of approaches to architecture, infrastructure, access and cross-border (retail or wholesale) interlinkages. On architecture, we find four central banks considering a Direct model (often to enhance financial inclusion). Seven are considering the Hybrid or Intermediated options (in some cases alongside a Direct option), and a larger group has not yet specified the architecture. No report examined in this study indicates that a central bank is pursuing the Indirect/Synthetic architecture.
Central banks choose these different attributes of CBDCs in line with the unique needs of their jurisdictions, but there may nonetheless be common features across countries. 20 In this light, we have also performed simple probit regressions for three of the four attributes (Table 5; moreover, a figure in the online annex represents this graphically). Indicators were chosen based on the statistical significance of differences between the projects; the top three are presented in each case. Because of the lack of variation in our sample regarding cross-border interlinkages, these differences are not presented. For the architecture, one may expect that the Direct or Hybrid and Intermediated options would be more likely in economies that are less developed or have less financial inclusion. In fact, we find the opposite: likely due to the influence of the Nordic countries, Canada and China, we find that it is higher-income jurisdictions, with greater account access and government effectiveness, that are more likely to choose a Direct or Hybrid and Intermediated architecture – at least in research work to date. Less developed countries have generally not specified their chosen architecture. Regarding infrastructure, we expect that DLT – originally designed to substitute for trusted intermediaries – is more attractive in jurisdictions in which authorities are perceived to be less effective. This difference is not statistically significant. Some central banks do note explicitly that DLT presents no fundamental advantages when using a centralised issuance system (NBU (2019)). On the other hand, countries researching or piloting DLT are more dependent on inward remittance flows than countries researching or piloting conventional architectures.
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