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The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has embarked on an exploratory study to investigate the benefits of issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency for general-purpose retail use.

According to a recent press release, the SARB will investigate: 

“the feasibility, desirability and appropriateness of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as electronic legal tender, for general-purpose retail use, complementary to cash.” 

The SARB said that its exploratory study will focus on the issuance of a domestic CBDC that can be used by consumers in South Africa.

“The feasibility study will include practical experimentation across different emerging technology platforms, taking into account a variety of factors, including policy, regulatory, security and risk management implications.” 

The study sets out to consider how the issuance of a general-purpose CBDC will feed into the SARB’s policy position. The SARB said that it is not alone in its studies, as a growing number of central banks are currently exploring the feasibility of CBDCs.

The SARB denied that its exploratory studies were in any way an indication of plans to issue a digital Rand in the near future.

The study is expected to conclude in 2022.

Andrew is a law student currently studying at UNISA, and Global Crypto's in-house reporter. Andrew discovered blockchain in his final year of school and since developed a keen interest in the subject. He appreciates a good cup of coffee. When he is not too busy with work or studies, he enjoys playing a good round of golf.