Central Bank of Colombia research: implementing CBDC won’t tag significant economic risks

According to Colombia’s central bank research, adopting a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is expected to have limited economic impacts, underscoring the importance of incorporating attractive attributes tailored to essential user segments.

The paper indicates that the central bank is still debating whether to issue a CBDC while acknowledges the potential benefits of implementing transaction constraints to regulate usage.

The working paper titled “Expected Macroeconomic Effects of Issuing a Retail CBDC” by Banco de la República, Colombia’s central bank, concluded that introducing a retail CBDC would not entail substantial macroeconomic risks.

The report further highlights that the most suitable design for Colombia’s economy entails a tiered architecture, potentially hybrid or intermediated through commercial banks, accompanied by predetermined holding and transaction limits. 

This architectural blueprint must also demonstrate robustness against diverse potential incidents while functioning as a non-interest-bearing framework.

Within this framework, the macroeconomic ramifications of integrating such a digital currency into the economy are predicted to be marginal, particularly concerning potential disturbances to financial intermediation and stability.

As elucidated in the study, the potential implementation of the CBDC offers an enticing avenue for risk-averse individuals who currently possess alternative cash-like instruments.

This shift could subsequently influence the demand for various financial vehicles, encompassing government bonds, commercial papers, and term deposit certificates.

The document additionally recognizes the divergence in motivations for adopting a CBDC among various governments. This distinction is apparent in instances like the Bahamas, where the aim is to facilitate seamless money transfers across islands. However, the motives underlying CBDC adoption might necessitate a more intricate assessment in different nations.

Consequently, while the potential for a CBDC implementation remains under consideration, experts emphasize integrating captivating characteristics tailored to essential user cohorts. This includes a suggested design incorporating transaction limits and omitting interest disbursements.

The report follows the June announcement of a collaboration between Ripple and Colombia’s central bank, focusing on a CBDC and the exploration of blockchain applications.

Following this partnership, Banco de la República, in conjunction with the Ministry for Information and Communications Technologies (MinTIC), could commence trials on Ripple’s CBDC-focused platform. 

As the global competition for CBDC development intensifies, exemplified by pilot programs launched by China, Hong Kong, and India, the community anticipates observing which CBDC attributes resonate most with the population.

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