According to the research, 74% of the world’s central banks are interested in blockchain technology. Among the leaders are the US Federal Reserve System, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.
Among the most discussed use cases are central bank digital currencies (retail and wholesale), interbank securities settlement, and data exchange platforms.
9 central banks account for more than half of all blockchain mentions
Semantic analysis of 367 official websites from 191 central banks around the world revealed interest in blockchain technology among 127 (74%) central banks in the world. As of January 2021, 127 central banks have mentioned blockchain technology 4408 times in their publications.
9 central banks accounted for more than half of all mentions of blockchain technology by central banks. The undisputed leaders were the US Federal Reserve System, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.
“Central banks in the world are actively adopting blockchain technology. The “blockchain arms race” has spread to the main financial regulators, and following the high status of the players, the scale of global changes has grown, reaching the level of the financial system foundations transformation, such as the creation of central banks digital currencies”.
Activity of the world’s central banks in the blockchain technology study
The number of mentions of blockchain technology on the official websites of the Central Bank (in%)
13% – the US Federal Reserve System
8% – Bank of England
6% – European Central Bank
4,8% – Bank of Lithuania
4,6% – Bank of Portugal
4,4% – Bank of Thailand
3,6% – Central Bank of Tunisia
3,4% – German Federal Bank
3,2% – Monetary – Credit Office of Singapore
49% – others
Among the leaders are the central banks of Europe and the USA
Among the Top 10 leading Central Banks in the world in terms of the number of mentions of blockchain technology on the official websites of the Central Bank are: the US Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank, Bank of Lithuania, Bank of Portugal, Bank of Thailand, Central Bank of Tunisia, German Federal Bank, as well as Monetary – Credit Office of Singapore.
To conclude, the central banks of the world, more or less interested in blockchain technology, account for about 75% of global GDP and 67% of the world’s population.
“The Bank of Russia is actively increasing its interest in blockchain technology from issuing mortgages on a blockchain platform to developing the concept of a digital ruble. The Bank of Russia is far from the only central bank showing high interest in blockchain. Today, a set of best practices is rapidly forming among central banks, the use of which for informed decisions making is the most effective way to develop successful blockchain projects at the state level”.
Top 10 leading Central Banks in the world
In terms of the number of mentions of blockchain technology on the official websites of the Central Bank
593 – the US Federal Reserve System
336 – Bank of England
283 – European Central Bank
211 – Bank of Lithuania
202 – Bank of Portugal
192 – Bank of Thailand
158 – Central Bank of Tunisia
152 – German Federal Bank
141 – Monetary – Credit Office of Singapore
124 – Dutch bank
We have identified 7 use cases of blockchain by central banks
Blockchain technology, due to the wide range of applications, is of interest to the central banks of the world for a number of reasons. Blockchain technology and digital currencies are challenging the foundations of the monetary system, and against this background, the central banks of the world face the threat that individuals can store, spend and move value without relying on national currencies. This poses a significant threat to the role that central banks play in monetary policy, and it is therefore not surprising that blockchain projects are gaining momentum in central banks around the world.
“Blockchain as a universal technology has found the widest application among central banks. While their key focus is currently focused on central bank digital currencies, the key potential for blockchain use among central banks lies at the intersection of a number of use cases. Largely for this reason, the study of global best practices is the first step in introducing innovative technologies”.
According to the research and reports published on the official websites of central banks, a review was carried out of existing use cases for blockchain technology, which are being investigated by at least one central bank.
Retail Central Bank Digital Currencies
A digital currency issued by a central bank that is available for use by the general public. It serves as a supplement or replacement for physical funds and an alternative to traditional bank deposits.
Wholesale Central Bank Digital Currencies
A digital currency issued by a central bank, available only to commercial banks and clearing houses.
Interbank securities settlement
A wholesale central bank digital currency use cases to enable rapid interbank clearing and securities settlement.
Mechanism for ensuring the stability of the payment system
The use of blockchain in the main or reserve internal interbank payment and settlement system in order to ensure data safety and continuity of operation.
Issuance and lifecycle management of bonds
The use of blockchain in the auction and issuing bonds or other processes in the life cycle of bonds.
KYC and AML Procedures
Blockchain applications in KYC / AML procedures to track and share relevant payment information and customer identification to optimize processes.
Data exchange platforms
Blockchain technology application to create alternative systems for the information exchange and data between government agencies and regulators.
In order to conduct a systematic analysis of the central banks activity in the study of the blockchain technology application and central banks digital currencies, the materials of the relevant publications were obtained through the analysis of primary sources. According to the catalog of the official websites of the central banks of the world of the International Reports Bank, a database of the Central Bank’s websites was compiled. In order to eliminate the possible distortion of search results due to the lack of an English version of the Central Bank website or the poor elaboration of the English version of the sites, both the main domains and the English versions of the sites were collected for each central bank. The final sample contained 191 central banks and 365 official central bank websites.
Then, in order to search for all relevant publications of central banks, a semantic core on the topic “Blockchain” was formed, including sets of relevant terms. By using the integration of the search extension, a search, calculation and cataloging of references by central banks of publications relevant to the topics under study were carried out.
In addition, in order to highlight the unique publications of central banks, duplicate publications were identified in the final database, publications the text of which is more than 90% coincided with each other, and by the enumeration method, these publications were attributed to the central banks, which chronologically were the first to publish the marked publications.