Banca di Spagna: experimentation with CBDC begins with new blockchain partners

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The Central Bank of Spain (Banco de España) is ready to experiment with the Country’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), announcing its three blockchain partners: Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara. 

Bank of Spain and the CBDC experimentation with partners Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain

On January 3rd, the Central Bank of Spain (Banco de España) published a document in which it announces its three chosen blockchain partnerships to initiate the experimentation of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

In practice, Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain have been chosen by the Bank of Spain among the 24 applications received in the last year.

In the document, the pilot experiment was described as follows:

“the experimentation to be carried out will mainly focus on two dimensions:

(i) test the integration of a wholesale CBDC with the settlement of financial activities and (ii) provide practical evidence on the potential advantages and disadvantages of introducing a wholesale CBDC compared to traditional processes, procedures, and infrastructures.”

This experiment will take place over the next six months, both to simulate processing and settlement of interbank payments with a single tokenized wholesale CBDC and to use the wholesale CBDC to settle a simulated tokenized bond. 

The three selected partners are precisely Cecabank, Abanca based in Spain, and Adhara Blockchain, which instead has its headquarters in the United Kingdom.

Bank of Spain joins the club of those interested in CBDCs

By starting tests for its CBDC, the Bank of Spain joins the club of financial institutions from all those countries interested in having their own Central Bank Digital Currency. 

For example, last October 2023, even the Bank of Korea started its experiments for the issuance of a CBDC, together with the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Supervisory Service.

In the Korean CBDC experiment, the BIS (Bank for International Settlements) is also participating, providing technical advice for the preparation of the tests. 

In Thailand, on the other hand, a donation of 10,000 BAHT has been proposed for every citizen over the age of 16, in CBDC format. A way for the Pheu Thai Party to promote digital wallets and implement a strategy for the country’s economic recovery.

In Brazil, however, last August, the name was given to the country’s CBDC under operational testing, called Drex instead of “digital real”.

New Zealand, then, has gathered information for its own CBDC directly from Ripple and its solution based on XRP Ledger (XRPL)

European record for the number of crypto ATMs also in 2024

For this 2024 as well, Spain takes the lead in Europe for the distribution of crypto ATMs and ranks fourth worldwide.

While in January of last year, the total number of crypto ATMs in Spain was 199, this year these Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATMs have risen to 299.

An increase that has not moved the country from its position compared to the previous year. 

On the contrary, the United States, which is the world’s number one in ATM crypto rankings, has seen a decrease in the number of installations in the country compared to a year ago.