Bank of Spain Partners with Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain for CBDC Experimentation

  • The Banco de España, Spain’s central bank, takes a significant step in its CBDC journey by selecting Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain as collaborators for the testing phase. 
  • Public skepticism, indicated by a majority expressing reluctance in integrating the pan-European CBDC into regular payment methods, raises questions about the widespread acceptance of digital currencies in Spain.

In a noteworthy development, the Banco de España, Spain’s central bank, has disclosed its collaborative choices for the testing phase of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative. After reviewing 24 applications over the past year, the Bank of Spain has selected three entities—Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain—for a six-month pilot of the wholesale CBDC. While Cecabank and Abanca are Spanish entities, Adhara Blockchain is based in the United Kingdom.

The testing phase will involve simulating the processing and settlement of interbank payments using a single tokenized wholesale CBDC. Additionally, the experiment aims to explore the exchange of various wholesale CBDCs issued by different central banks. In this venture, the consortium of Cecabank and Abanca will leverage the wholesale CBDC to settle a simulated tokenized bond.

It’s crucial to note that Spain’s CBDC program is distinct from the broader digital euro project, which, if implemented, would encompass all economies in the eurozone.

Spain has been actively engaging with the cryptocurrency market, recently making efforts to implement the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCAR) and providing insights into the characteristics and potential applications of the digital euro.

In a broader context, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Spain have been continuing their work on the digital euro, emphasizing the benefits of digitalization in payments and the economy. The Bank of Spain has expressed the view that the physical cash format limits the exploitation of advantages offered by the growing digitalization of the economy and society, and the digital euro aims to make electronic payments a vital component of the financial system.

Despite these regulatory advancements, recent surveys indicate limited enthusiasm for the digital euro among the Spanish population. Only a fifth of respondents in a Bank of Spain survey expressed willingness to integrate the pan-European CBDC into their regular payment methods, while a majority of 65% indicated reluctance. Another survey also showed limited interest among Spaniards in adopting the digital euro, with only 20% expressing openness to using it alongside regular payment methods.

In the global landscape, discussions around Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are actively taking place, with Russia preparing to launch the first CBDC pilot involving 13 banks and real customers. Central banks worldwide are exploring CBDCs, marking pivotal

Spanish CBDC Initiative Gains Momentum with Collaborative Testing Phase

In a significant stride toward the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Bank of Spain has chosen key collaborators—Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain—for the upcoming testing phase. This strategic move aims to simulate interbank payments and explore cross-border CBDC exchanges. While Spain actively pursues CBDC innovation, recent surveys indicate public skepticism about the digital euro. Despite challenges, Spain’s initiative aligns with the global exploration of CBDCs, highlighting the evolving landscape of digital currencies.

Disclaimer : This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments.

Author: Mehar Nayar

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