Virtual Course on Central Bank Digital Currencies

August 29, 2022

Digitalization is transforming economic activity, reducing the role of cash, and providing motivations for developing new digital forms of money. Central banks have been reflecting on whether and how to adapt to change.  Central bank digital currency (CBDC)—a widely accessible digital form of fiat money that could be legal tender—is one approach, and several central banks have studied the adoption of CBDC or have undertaken pilots. Given the interest and relevance of this topic for central banks, in July the JVI hosted for the first time the new IMF Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) course on CBDCs. 

This course, which was delivered virtually over one week by ICD staff, covered a selection of core topics on CBDC design and features and the role of CBDCs. Benefits, costs, and risks from the issuance of a CBDC related to monetary policy transmission, financial inclusion and integrity, and financial stability were addressed as well. The course also discussed regulatory issues and international considerations. It was designed to give participants a foundation in CBDCs and assess the business case for CBDC adoption from the perspective of users and central banks.  

The mixture of lectures and case studies allowed for fruitful and lively discussions of country experiences throughout the week on this quickly evolving topic. The case studies allowed participants to reflect on and discuss country experiences and test their understanding of how and why some strategies have been successful while some countries have chosen not to proceed with the implementation of CBDCs yet. The participants appreciated this approach that allowed them to deepen the material covered in the lectures in a practical manner.  

Given the novelty of the topic and the interest shown by various participating countries, the course will continue to evolve and adapt to remain current and reflect the advances made on the economic policy and regulatory fronts. 

The course was oversubscribed with more than 80 applicants from 17 countries for this one week offering, of which 30 were invited to attend, from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Most participants represented the central bank of their country, with two of them representing the Ministry of Finance. 

Celine Rochon, Senior Economist, IMF Institute for Capacity Development

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