Ripple Releases Framework on the Future of CBDCs Highlights Benefits and Challenges

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / photo_gonzo

Blockchain payment firm Ripple has rolled out a whitepaper on the state of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), their utility in cross-border payments as well as challenges towards adoption in several jurisdictions.

The framework published on Dec 14 explains the developments of CBDCs, the present approach deployed by central banks and financial authorities as the technology continues to reach more people and onboard use cases.

At press time, 130 countries representing 98% of the global GDP have delved into a form of CBDC exploration with Nigeria and Bahamas launching solutions that continue to evolve while China and other Asian countries tapped pilot phases with the United States and South Africa in exploration stages.

Furthermore, international and regional bodies like the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Financial Stability Board (FSB), and the European Union look towards CBDCs to shape the future of payments becoming an alternative for cash while making cross-border transactions easier.

Enormous possibilities of CBDCs

In the last few years, Ripple has become a major backer of CBDC development in several countries, winning bids to be the technology partner and expanding its business model.

According to the study, the firm notes that CBDCs can expand the financial value chain as they support interbank payments, cross-border payments, retail and utility payments, etc as it expands financial inclusion.

Blockchain technology has been a catalyst toward support for financial inclusion for unbanked regions where infrastructure is limited. With a wider adoption of CBDC as a form of payment, individuals in these regions will access fast transactions, as they become included in the tax net increasing the nation’s GDP.

The model also created an offline mode for transfers to be made and settled without internet connections in disadvantaged cities. Reports abound on how digital currencies can improve bank deposits as more people come into the financial bracket.

This year, cross-border payments have become the most popular utility of CBDC igniting collaborations from many central banks to create perfect assets. Cheaper and faster transaction settlement remain the high utility of the model especially among regions that utilize high remittances.

Faster, cheaper, more transparent and more inclusive cross-border payment services would deliver widespread benefits for citizens and economies worldwide, supporting economic growth, international trade, global development, and financial inclusion.” 

Barriers to increasing adoption

The recent privacy concern among CBDC developing nations has been the fear of privacy breaches involved in some proposed models.

Several agencies have raised concerns about the impact the digital euro can have on user data. Despite this, authorities say these fears are overblown and will shape digital currencies in a way to protects all user data.

While most experts have stressed interoperable CBDC models, there is no universally agreed model driving sentiments away from users hoping to conduct payments between several platforms.

Other setbacks include ensuring robust security and clear-cut regulations across continents paving the way for uniformity.