The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is actively developing a global platform for CBDCs to facilitate seamless transactions across borders, announced IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at a conference in Rabat, Morocco.
Georgieva emphasized the importance of avoiding fragmented CBDC solutions and highlighted the need for systems that connect countries, promoting efficiency and fairness through interoperability.
“CBDCs should not be fragmented national propositions. To have more efficient and fairer transactions we need systems that connect countries: we need interoperability,” said Kristalina Georgieva.
Over 114 central banks are currently exploring CBDCs, with approximately 10 nearing completion, she added.
Georgieva further warned that failure to agree on a common platform could lead to a void filled by cryptocurrencies. CBDCs, controlled by central banks, differ from decentralized cryptocurrencies in that they are controlled by an entity.
Georgieva stressed that CBDCs foster financial inclusion by granting more individuals access to cost-effective financial services. She noted that remittances, which currently cost an average of 6.3% or around $44 billion annually, could be made cheaper through CBDCs. “The average cost of money transfers stands at 6.3% amounting to $44 billion annually,” the director said.
However, she cautioned that CBDCs must be asset-backed to ensure stability, distinguishing them from speculative investments when cryptocurrencies lack such backing.
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IMF Highlights Risks Of Poorly Designed CBDCs, Calls For Unified Regulatory Framework
The IMF’s proposal for a global CBDC platform aligns with the goal of reducing fragmentation and enhancing cross-border transactions. A standardized platform would bridge the financial divide, strengthen payment systems, and make remittances quicker and less costly.
While CBDC benefits are evident, the IMF also underscored risks associated with their design. Poorly designed CBDCs could pose financial stability risks, encounter legal challenges, face cyber risks, and lead to operational risks for central banks.
The IMF’s efforts to establish a unified regulatory framework and develop a global CBDC platform built upon previous discussions held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Recognizing the complex technological and legal aspects, the IMF aims to leverage its expertise to guide the platform’s development, fostering trust and providing oversight.
Additionally, the IMF plans to release two forthcoming papers on CBDCs, sharing insights and analysis from regions such as the Middle East, Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
As central banks worldwide continue exploring CBDCs, the IMF’s initiative represents a significant step toward efficient and inclusive international transactions.