Brazil’s central bank hopes to launch a digital currency in 2024.
That’s according to Central Bank of Brazil President Roberto Campos Neto, who said Tuesday (Dec. 13), per Reuters, the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) will debut after a closed pilot with financial institutions (FIs).
In a speech at an event held by the news website Poder 360, Campos Neto said the design of the CBDC would encourage banks to tokenize their assets and lead to greater efficiency.
“If the digital currency is actually a tokenized deposit, it inherits all the regulation that already applies to deposits,” he said, according to the report.
He added that the launch should not disturb monetary policy or hurt banks’ balance sheets.
Campos Neto said representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have approached the central bank and said this model seems the easiest to implement and other central banks should consider it, the report stated.
Brazil’s central bank had initially planned to test a digital real this year but in June pushed that project back to 2023. Bank officials have said the project is aimed primarily at financial innovation rather than real-time payments.
Fabio Araujo, an economist at the central bank, said in a paper for the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) that Brazil has had a “solution for real-time gross settlement (RTGS) has already been available for 20 years … [and] an instant payment system — Pix — went live in November 2020 and has been very well received by the public.”
The main goal of launching a CBDC in Brazil, he wrote, “is to provide entrepreneurs with a safe and reliable environment to innovate through the use of programmability technologies, such as programable money and smart contracts.”
Brazil’s test comes as other countries are exploring their own CBDC projects, with mixed results. For example, the U.K. government said earlier this month it will bring forward a CBDC consultation “in the coming weeks.”
Despite the enthusiasm of some officials, PYMNTS wrote that a digital pound does not have widespread support in parliament.
In January, the cross-party Lords Economic Affairs Committee issued a report titled “Central bank digital currencies: a solution in search of a problem?” that found there is “no convincing case” for why the U.K. needs a CBDC.
More recently, news reports from India found that bankers in that country have yet to see much benefit from the Bank of India’s test of a CBDC.
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