Investment experts from the CFA Institute recently participated in a global survey to gauge their perspectives on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). The survey, conducted in regions like India and China, revealed a wide range of opinions among professionals in the investment industry.
A global survey of our members shows support for #CBDCs is limited. Only a small percentage of respondents have a strong understanding of CBDCs & a split in attitudes between emerging & developed economies, there is no guarantee of public acceptance https://t.co/SD3x0kKqPY pic.twitter.com/O4oWmcUp2w
— Margaret Franklin, CFA, CEO at CFA Institute (@CFAInstituteCEO) July 26, 2023
Support and Understanding Varies
The survey indicated that support for CBDCs among investment professionals was not unanimous. Only a small percentage of respondents demonstrated a strong understanding of CBDCs, and the level of support varied significantly between emerging and developed economies. The results highlighted that public acceptance of CBDCs is far from guaranteed, adding a layer of complexity to the ongoing discussions surrounding digital currencies.
Faster Payments and Central Authorities
Among the investment professionals who supported CBDCs, a majority cited faster payments and transfers as the primary advantage (58%). Additionally, around 30% of respondents believed that central authorities should play a significant role in the development of cryptocurrencies. This perspective underscores the potential role of regulatory bodies in shaping the future of digital currencies.
Concerns Over Privacy and Practical Use
On the other hand, there were apprehensions about CBDCs as well. The most common objection voiced by respondents was related to privacy concerns (50%), followed by doubts about the practical use of CBDCs (40%). Interestingly, only 10% of the participants believed that CBDCs would prove to be harmful to traditional banks.
Regional Variations in Financial Inclusion Perception
When it came to the impact of CBDCs on financial inclusion, opinions diverged based on the respondents’ regions. A significant percentage of professionals from China (66%) and India (64%) believed that CBDCs could improve financial inclusion. However, the optimism was comparatively lower among U.S. respondents, with only 24% sharing the same viewpoint.
Location and Age Influence Attitudes
The survey results highlighted that attitudes toward CBDCs were influenced by the respondents’ geographical location and age. Investment professionals from emerging markets tended to be more supportive of CBDCs than their counterparts from developed markets. Additionally, younger respondents and those with a background in banking expressed a higher willingness to embrace CBDCs compared to others.
A Mix of Support and Skepticism
Overall, the CFA Institute survey illustrated a diverse range of perspectives among investment professionals regarding CBDCs. While some experts expressed strong support, others remained skeptical. These varied viewpoints stand in contrast to the more polarized opinions often observed within the crypto community and political circles in the United States.
As the debate around CBDCs continues to evolve, it becomes evident that achieving a consensus on their implementation and impact remains a complex task. Regulatory authorities, financial institutions, and tech innovators will need to navigate these nuanced opinions to chart a course for the future of digital currencies on the global financial stage.