Folks Warming to CBDC Use: Guardtime Study

Consumers are warming to the concept of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), research from European deep tech company Guardtime shows.

Guardtime surveyed people in 10 countries and found 64 per cent of people would likely use a CBDC launched in their country, with 33 per cent saying they were “very likely” to. Only 10 per cent said they never would. 

One in three would be willing to convert their savings into a CBDC within a month and another 26 per cent would do so within half a year. Only 11 per cent said they never would. Thirty per cent said they would be happy to have their salary paid in a CBDC within a month, with another 27 per cent willing to do it within six months. One in eight said they would never accept being paid in a CBDC.

Folks may need to get ready for the possibility of CBDCs. According to research from the Bank of International Settlements cited by Guardtime, 86 per cent of central banks are actively researching the potential, 60 per cent are experimenting with the technology and 14 per cent have pilot projects ready.

“People worldwide have embraced rapid digitization during the Coronavirus crisis and that appears to be reflected in the relative enthusiasm for the launch of digital currencies from central banks,” Guardtime head of strategy Luukas Ilves said. “It is fascinating to see that 64 per cent of people would be willing to use CBDCs – even though they have not been launched yet – and are happy to support and trust central banks to ensure digital currencies are delivered.

“The work by central banks worldwide on CBDCs has been notable for its speed and coordination and underlines why they are winning the trust of consumers on delivering digital transformation.”

The numbers don’t mean everyone wants to eliminate cash, but 31 per cent said they would be willing to conduct more than half of those transactions in CBDCs within one month with another 28 per cent following suit at some point in the ensuing half year.

When asked, consumers cited privacy as the most important trait of CBDCs followed by ease of use and not costing more to use. International use and when there’s no internet connection were other factors.

“Guardtime believes the introduction of central bank digital currencies could upend the global economic order,” the company said in a statement. “This technology could bring a multitude of benefits such as more efficient trade, greater financial access for millions of people, and a reduction in crime. But there are important technological barriers to overcome regarding scalability and security, and it is on these points that Guardtime is in discussion with some central banks.”

KSI Cash is Guardtime’s digital cash payment and settlement infrastructure.

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