Privacy and consumer trust should be key considerations for governments as they look to accelerate the introduction of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

Their growth was described as ‘inevitable’ at a panel at SBC Summit Barcelona, as the event’s blockchain track explored the future growth of digital currencies and the impact they can have on the future of payments. 

Brett Johnson, the Sales Lead at nChain, detailed that in the modern digital world, blockchain is being utilised in a more versatile way and has become a crucial asset in KYC, AML and other processes that involves the security of data. 

According to Johnson, adoption will continue to grow – fuelled by key financial bodies and governments looking to accelerate CBDC growth. Technology can enable the introduction of CBDCs whilst retaining consumer privacy. 

“What takes time is the politics, the CBDC is inevitable, I just think it’s going to take time for the cultural, political and social shifts to move towards them,” Johnson stated. 

Enrico Giancaterina, Executive Managing Director at Funtech Games, also outlined that he has seen an evolving of attitudes towards digital currencies, something he believes education and understanding can be vital in when it comes to its acceleration. 

On the other hand, Stuart Morrison, the CEO at Crypto Snack, emphasised his concerns on privacy with the introduction of CBDCs, as he revealed he is vehemently against their introduction. 

As CBDCs are introduced and continually pursued by larger organisations, Morrison underlined his hopes that as CBDCs continue to garner government and social interest, their growth is replicated by decentralised tech, so consumers can continue to enjoy that element of blockchain. 

Samuel Rondot, the Managing Director of Damex echoed that CBDCs remain a very conflicting subject, however, he stated that with the sheer number of governments looking into them there is simply no way back and adoption is inevitable. 

What Rondot believes will be pivotal is the strategy that is taken upon their introduction. He added that the level of their introduction will also be fascinating as he stated that they are a long way from being embedded for citizen’s everyday use. .

The real steps for CBDCs will be pilot projects that are being undertaken before their full introduction, analysing use cases to ensure they become user and security friendly. 

Johnson added that he feels that CBDCs won’t necessarily replace cash or more traditional payment methods, but instead will be complementary, underpinned by digital identity technology in order to ensure that a level of privacy is retained and consumer trust continues to be stable. 

Rondot also stated that it’s extremely interesting to see the developments of some of the industry’s big players like PayPal embracing CBDCs, adding that he hopes that it’s the first of many when it comes to big name firms embracing crypto in this way. 

Morrison also detailed his belief that it’s a step in the right trajectory for the industry, as he also stated that he hopes an increasing number of firms continue to explore the tech.