Sovereign Digital Currency A New Reality

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-6-44-52
G. Semeko,
Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAN), 51/21, Nakhimovsky Prosp., Moscow, 117418, Russian Federation.

Received 10.02.2022. Revised 18.03.2022. Accepted 06.04.2022.

Abstract. One of the most relevant and widely discussed trends in the financial sector is the development of a new payment technology – central bank digital currency (CBDC). CBDC is central bank-issued digital money denominated in the national unit of account, and it represents a liability of the central bank. It differs from electronic reserves (which cannot currently be accessed by individuals), physical cash, cryptocurrencies and other private digital tokens. Central banks around the world have been researching the concept and design of CBDC for several years and their work continues apace amid the COVID‑19 pandemic. This general trend encompasses large differences across jurisdictions and types of economies. Each country should make its own choice of the CBDC design, taking into account its particular circumstances. Over the last years, the share of central banks actively engaging in some form of CBDC work has increased significantly. Central banks are moving from conceptual research of CBDC to experimentation and pilot projects. CBDC projects differ starkly across countries, both in their motivations and their economic and technical design. Rising number of central banks are considering retail CBDC rather than wholesale, and “hybrid” or “intermediated” operational architectures where the CBDC is a direct claim on the central bank, but the private sector manages customer-facing activity. The paper reviews the recent advances in CBCD projects, and the experience of the countries in more advanced stages of CBCD engagement, namely the particularly advanced CBDC Chinese project of the e-yuan of the People’s Bank of China and Swedish e-krona project of Sveriges Riksbank.

Keywords: digital economy, central bank, national currency, digital currency, financial technologies, currency circulation, monetary policy


1. Mancini Griffoli T., Martinez M.S. Casting Light on Central Bank. IMF Staff Discussion Note, 2018, no. 8. 39 .

2. Engert W., Fung B. Central Bank Digital Currency: Motivations and Implications. Bank of Canada Staff Discussion Paper, 2017, no. 2017-16. 30 p. Available at: (accessed 19.01.2022).

3. Sakharov D.M. Digital currencies of central banks: key characteristics and impact on the financial system. Finance: theory and practice, 2021, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 133-149. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.26794/2587-5671-2021-25-5-133-149

4. Auer R., Frost J., Gambacorta L., Monnet C., Rice T., Hyun Song Shin. Central Bank Digital Currencies: Motives, Economic Implications and the Research Frontier. BIS Working Papers, 2021, November, no. 976. 30 p.

5. Auer R., Cornelli G., Frost J. Rise of the Central Bank Digital Currencies: Drivers, Approaches and Technologies. BIS Working Papers, 2020, no. 880. 44 .

6. Auer R., Bohme R. The Technology of Retail Central Bank Digital Currency. BIS Quarterly Revue, March, 2020. 16 p. Available at: (accessed 20.12.2021).

7. Agur I. Central Bank Digital Currencies: An Overview of Pros and Cons. Gnan E., Masciandaro D., eds. Do We Need Central Bank Digital Currency? Economics, Technology and Institutions. Vienna, SUERF, 2018, pp. 116-117.

8. Kochergin D.A. Modern models of digital currency of central banks systems. St. Petersburg University Journal of economic studies, 2021, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 205-240. (In Russ.) Available at:

9. Andryushin S.A. Digital currency of the central bank as the third form of money of the state. Actual problems of economics and law, 2021, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 54-76. (In Russ.) Available at:

10. Kiselev A. Is there a future for digital currency of the central bank? Moscow, Bank of Russia, 2019. 23 p. (In Russ.)

11. Ozili P.K. Central Bank Digital Currency Research around the World: A Review of Literature. Journal of Money Laundering Control, Abuja (Nigeria), 07.01.2022. 21 . Available at:

12. Ree J. Five Observations on Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency. IMF Country Focus, 16.11.2021. Available at: (accessed 28.01.2022).

13. Boar C., Wehrli A. Ready, Steady, Go? Results of the Third BIS Survey on Central Bank Digital Currency. BIS Papers, 2021, no. 114. 23 p.

14. Arauz A., Garratt R., Ramos F.D. Dinero Electronico: The Rise and Fall of Ecuador›s Central Bank Digital Currency. Latin American Journal of Central Banking, 2021, vol. 2, no. 2. 10 p. Available at:

15. Karsten J., West D.M. Venezuela’s “Petro” Undermines Other Cryptocurrencies – and International Sanctions. Brookings Institution, 09.03.2018. Available at: (accessed 03.02.2022).

16. Armelius H., Guibourg G., Levin A.T., Soderberg G. The Rationale for Issuing e-Krona in the Digital Era. Sveriges Riksbank Economic Revue, 2020, no. 2, pp. 6-18. Available at: (accessed 08.02.2022).

17. Schmalholz J. The Riksbank’s CBDC Journey (E-Krona). Sveriges Riksbank, ITU webinar, 19.11.2021. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2022).

18. Fanusie Y.J., Jin E. China’s Digital Currency: Adding Financial Data to Digital Authoritarianism. Washington, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), 2021. 30 .

19. Tang F. China includes McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway on List of Foreign Firms to Test Digital Currency. Yahoo!news, 23.04.2020. Available at: (accessed 26.01.2022).

20. Lehman E., Rothstein J. Where Does China’s Digital Currency Stand? The Diplomat, 11.07.2021. Available at: (accessed 15.01.2022).

21. Yeung K., Mullen A. China Digital Currency: When Will the E-Yuan Be Launched, and What Will It Be Used for? South China Morning Post, 06.06.2021. Available at: (accessed 20.01.2022).


1. Central Bank Digital Currencies. Basel, Bank of International Settlements, CPMI, March 2018. 34 p.

2. Central Bank Digital Currencies: Foundational Principles and Core Features / Group of Central Banks, Joint Report N1. Basel, Bank of International Settlements, October 2020. 26 p.

3. Today’s Central Bank Digital Currencies Status. December 2021. Available at: (accessed 25.01.2022).

4. Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation. Washington, FRS Board of Governors, 2022. 40 p.

5. Sand Dollar: For Establishing the First Government-Backed Digital Currency. Nassau, Project Management Institute. Available at: (accessed 06.12.2021).

6. The Sand Dollar is on Schedule for Gradual National Release to the Bahamas in Mid-October 2020. Nassau, Central Bank of the Bahamas, 2020. Available at: (accessed 06.01.2022).

7. The Riksbank’s E-Krona Project: Report 2. Stockholm, Sveriges Riksbank, 02.10.2018. 52 p.

8. E-Krona Pilot Phase 1. Stockholm, Sveriges Riksbank, April, 2021. 21 p.

9. Progress of Research & Development of E-CNY in China. Beijing, People’s Bank of China, Working Group on E-CNY Research and Development, July 2021. Available at: (accessed 08.02.2022).

10. E-CNY Well-Applied at Beijing 2022 Venues, Say Experts. Xinhua, 28.01.2022. Available at: (accessed 06.02.2022).

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Semeko G. Sovereign Digital Currency A New Reality. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 6, pp. 44-52.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2023, vol. 67, No. 11
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Digital Confrontation between USA and China: Economic and Political Dimensions
  • Russia-China Partnership in the Context of US-China Rivalry
  • Shaping of the “China Threat” Concept in the U.S. Expert-Political Discourse
  • Race for Nanometers: American Policy Toward Taiwan and Republic of Korea
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.