A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is a digital form of central bank money eg a digital banknote which would be a direct liability of a central bank. CBDC designed for use by individuals and businesses is also referred to as “retail CBDC” (rCBDC) or “general purpose CBDC”. A CBDC for financial institutions is referred to as “wholesale CBDC” (wCBDC) and could be used to settle financial transactions.

Federal RESERVE, FAQs, Currency and Coin
BIS Innovation Hub work on central bank digital currency

ICMA members note that regulators and central banks globally have adopted different definitions of central bank digital currency. For example, the use of DLT being a criterion for some but not for others.

Further reading:
Wholesale central bank digital currency experiments with the Banque de France, November 2021
BIS Innovation Hub, the Swiss National Bank (SNB), SIX: Project Helvetia: A multi-phase investigation on the settlement of tokenised assets in central bank money

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