CFA Institute, the international association of investment professionals, recently published the results of a global study on central bank digital currency (CBDC). Among the more than 4,000 respondents, 87 percent judged themselves to have low or moderate understanding of CBDCs. Participants were divided in their support for launching CBDCs, with 34 percent saying that central banks should not do so, 42 percent saying they should, and 24 percent expressing no opinion or remaining undecided.

The results show a split between older and younger respondents, as well as the emerging and developed markets. Only 24 percent of those under the age of 30 opposed CBDCs, while opposition was at 37 percent for the over 55s. 61 percent of those from emerging markets were in favour of CBDCs, while only 37 percent of those from developed markets expressed the same enthusiasm. China and India saw the highest level of support for CBDCs, at 70 percent and 66 percent respectively.

Popular vote

According to the report, the acceptance of CBDCs in emerging markets is unsurprising, and aligns with results of surveys and studies done by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). For these markets, CBDCs are considered a viable solution for providing cash-like means of payment and promoting financial inclusion.

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CFA concludes that “public acceptance of a CBDC is not assured”. Nevertheless, because a “sizable numbers of respondents” have reported “a lack of understanding of CBDCs or undecided views about them”, the public is essentially still an “empty slate” that could be turned around with education and outreach efforts from central banks and governments.