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BRICS Digital Currency ‘Could Launch in 5-10 Years,’ Experts Claim

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Banknotes of the five BRICS nations rest on a wooden tabletop
Source: Björn Wylezich/Adobe

Experts in Brazil think BRICS leaders will agree to launch a digital fiat for the bloc at a summit next week.

The experts said the coin could debut in the next five to 10 years.

Per CNN Brasil and Tass, Evandro Caciano, the head of foreign exchange at Trace Finance, claimed that the nations “should leave the meeting with working groups established on the matter.”

Caciano said:

“The conversation should move toward smaller and more technical groups that should tackle the subject. We need countries to be on the same page.”

Milena Araújo, an analyst at the investment service provider Nexgen, was also upbeat about a BRICS-issued digital fiat.

She said that she expected that the event, which takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 22 to 24, to “initiate discussions” about a shared digital coin.

Araújo said she expected officials to “start with a concrete feasibility plan for the proposal.”

Caciano opined:

“A single digital currency for the bloc is possible if the BRICS bank issued it and became its regulator.”

He added that the process of issuance could be “implemented in stages” and might “take five to 10 years” to complete.

BRICS Digital Coin: Why Are Member States Keen?

The Trace Finance executive added that the current global economic climate “favors the creation” of BRICS coin, particularly with the United States now “experiencing the worst economic crisis in its history.”

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has this year stated that he supports the notion of creating a common currency that would facilitate trade between BRICS countries.

Lula said in April that the coin could replace the US dollar in trade deals between the nations.

BRICS Digital Currency – Will Progress Be Made This Month?

BRICS nations have been discussing the launch of a digital token since 2019, and have revised plans as the nations have stepped up their de-dollarization efforts in recent years.

Member nations, such as China, Brazil, and Russia have also made rapid progress with their own CBDCs, respectively the digital yuan, the DREX, and the digital ruble.

All three countries have spoken about the possibility of conducting “cross-border trade” with their CBDCs, as have key Moscow allies like Belarus.

Russia and would-be BRICS member Iran have also discussed the co-launch of a gold-pegged stablecoin.

BRICS leaders pose for a photograph during a 2019 summit.
BRICS leaders during a 2019 summit. (Source: Palácio do Planalto [CC BY 2.0])

Could BRICS Really Launch a ‘CBDC’-type Digital Currency?

Lord Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs economist who coined the BRICS name in a 2001 research paper, this month called the idea of a common currency for the bloc “just ridiculous.”

He mused:

“They are going to create a BRICS central bank? How would you do that? It’s embarrassing, almost.”

The latest BRICS summit will be the 15th of its kind.

South African officials have denied that a common BRICS currency is on the agenda, but officials have repeatedly debated the issue at previous summits.

The BRICS leaders will also speak about whether they wish to accept membership applications from other countries.

Thus far, almost two dozen countries have expressed a desire to join the group, the Washington Post reported last week.

The list includes Venezuela, Vietnam, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Argentina, Cuba, Nigeria, and Thailand.