Mastercard Highlights Difficulty in Wide Adoption of CBDCs
Ashok Venkateswaran questions CBDC adoption due to insufficient justification, making broad adoption difficult....
- Ashok Venkateswaran, Mastercard's blockchain and digital assets lead for Asia-Pacific, questions the widespread adoption of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
- He believes that there is insufficient justification for CBDC adoption, making it difficult for broad adoption.
- Venkateswaran emphasizes the challenge of CBDC adoption, particularly the need for the ability to spend CBDCs anywhere, similar to cash.
- Despite the International Monetary Fund (IMF) considering CBDCs a safe and low-cost alternative to cash, Venkateswaran argues that consumers are comfortable with traditional forms of money.
- Building the necessary infrastructure for CBDCs requires time and effort, with collaboration between central banks and private companies like Mastercard.
- Singapore plans to pilot wholesale CBDCs from 2024, but Venkateswaran suggests that the case for retail CBDCs in Singapore is not compelling due to its efficient payment system.
- Venkateswaran emphasizes the importance of understanding each country's specific needs and problems before adopting CBDCs.
- He cautions against adopting CBDCs solely to replace existing domestic payment networks, suggesting it makes more sense in countries with less robust payment networks.
- Mastercard has recently completed testing its solution in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's e-HKD pilot program, simulating the use of a retail CBDC.
The article presents Ashok Venkateswaran's skepticism about the widespread adoption of CBDCs, highlighting the challenges and lack of sufficient justification. However, it also mentions the potential benefits and ongoing efforts in countries like Singapore and Mastercard's involvement in testing CBDC solutions. Overall, the sentiment leans towards cautious skepticism.