Brazil’s Central Bank Digital Currency already has a timetable for launch. Per the monetary authority, the first tests are set to begin in 2023 and the launch of the so-called Real Digital may happen as early as the second half of 2024.
The timeframe was announced in an event on Monday by Central Bank economist Fabio Araújo, who noted that, although the project was delayed by a strike earlier this year, “in 2023 and most of 2024 we will have trials going on and we will know for sure if it’s possible to launch it in the second half of 2024”.
On a previous occasion, Mr. Araújo had reckoned that Brazil’s instant payment system PIX has already met the demand and that the use of crypto for payments has lost its purpose. But cryptocurrencies could be useful for other activities, such as creating new digital products.
The ultimate difference between Real Digital and most other cryptocurrencies is that it will be backed by the Central Bank and will be able to be converted into bills. However, it can also be used in smart contracts, IoT applications, and international payments.
Brazil may be the biggest economy considering a digital currency, but it is not the only one. Chile is also carrying out studies to analyze the feasibility of a central bank digital currency. In the Caribbean, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank launched the DCash digital currency, the first CBDC in the world by a currency union. And that’s not to mention El Salvador’s experiment with Bitcoin.