Unlike bitcoin, CBDCs are issued by governments and are basically digital versions of an existing national currency. But instead of holding it in your wallet, you store it on your phone.

CBDCs could become more commonplace sooner than you’d think. According to the think tank Atlantic Council, 81 countries, which account for over 90% of the world’s gross domestic product, are exploring a digital currency, and five countries have already launched one. And there will be more to come. According to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, countries representing one-fifth of the world’s population may well issue a digital currency in the next few years.
Leading the race is China’s digital yuan, which has already been trialed in over $5 billion worth of transactions. The US, by contrast, is still in the research phase. The House Committee on Financial Services recently had a hearing on the promises and perils of CBDC, in which…

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