The prospects for retail and wholesale CBDCs in Asia

October 2022

The development of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) continues to gain momentum: a survey conducted in 2021 by the Bank for International Settlements found that 90% of central banks are engaged in some form of CBDC work. China has been leading the way in retail CBDCs in Asia and globally. Since the e-CNY’s pilot in the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022, it has almost doubled the number of pilot cities and the cumulative value transacted has reached over RMB100b (c. USD14b). New use cases for the e-CNY have emerged since then and more are expected. These may include green finance and cross-border transactions. The mBridge initiative involving Hong Kong, China, Thailand and the UAE has also had a successful pilot phase. The prospect of an e-HKD may further accelerate the development of CBDCs in Asia. Their emergence will change the dynamics of the digital payment landscape and test incumbents’ ability to innovate and add-value.

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Duncan Fitzgerald

Mainland China and Hong Kong Digital Trust & Risk - Financial Services Risk and Crypto Leader, PwC Hong Kong

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Gary Ng

Partner, PwC Hong Kong

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William Gee

Advisor, PwC Hong Kong

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