Price Water house Coopers recently published their 2022 Central Bank Digital Currency ( CBDC) Index and stablecoin overview. In the PWC report when showcasing the progress of Central Banks in terms of wholesale CBDC front, both the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( KSA) were among the top 10 globally.
Leading the pack was Thailand, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, France, South Africa, UAE, Japan, Saudi Arabia and last Switzerland.
As per the PWC top 10 list, KSA moved up a notch from 11th place, as did Switzerland which was last year 12th place. Both the United Kingdom and European Union have opted out of having a Wholesale CBDC and are focusing on retail CBDC projects. While Germany is looking at CBDC Wholesale project built on something similar to DLT platform.
As per the PWC report, CBDCs have the potential to streamline security tokens post sale through atomic delivery versus payment among other benefits.
Interestingly, no Arab, or GCC ( Gulf Cooperation Council) Central Bank was listed in top 10 list for retail CBDCs. Taking number one place for retail CBDC projects was Nigeria, followed by Bahamas, China, Jamaica, Eastern Caribbean, Ukraine, Uruguay, Thailand, Sweden and South Korea.
80 percent of Central Banks are considering the launch of a CBDC or have already launched while stablecoins have reached a market capitalization of 190 billion USD in early 2022.
The UAE Whole sale CBDC project ranks 7th globally with an index value of 63 and it ranks number 1 position in MENA region
UAE wholesale CBDC project Mbridge which is in partnership with BIS and Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Thailand and Central Bank of China will commence their pilot phase in 2022 with commercial banks.
As for Saudi Arabia its project ranks number 9th globally, with a value index at 53 because it is not only looking at CBDC but also the implementation smart contracts and digital assets. It ranks number 2 in the MENA region.
KSA seeks to utilize CBDC to reach its goal of having 76 percent of payments carried out electronically by 2025 up from 57 percent in 2021
PWC in their report note that Stablecoins will grow and increase in importance with increased regulation. Currently no stablecoin is fully regulated. Some of the biggest issues facing stablecoins are liquidity mismatch.
Tether is the number one stablecoin in terms of market capitalization traded in 25 exchanges. USDC came in 2nd while BUSD from Binance is third place.