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  • People distrust big tech companies, the recent survey showed.
  • Emerging markets are more loyal both to state-backed and private digital money.

People are unlikely to use digital money issued by big tech companies as they do not trust them, the latest research performed by Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum revealed. 

According to the poll, carried out in 13 countries around the globe, people in all advanced economies would not touch money issued by tech companies. While people in emerging economies were more friendly, they did not enjoy the idea of using money created by search engines or social media giants. The highest level of scepticism was registered in Germany, France and the UK.

Central Bank-issued digital coins (CBDC) were considered a better idea and favored ahead of private sector alternatives, including over-hyped Facebook’s Libra. CBDC gained support of 51% of respondents.

The research results are likely to support global central banks efforts to create state-back alternatives to private projects such as Facebook’s Libra coin. Philip Middleton, the OMFIF’s deputy chairman commented:

The advent of Libra has completely changed what was a theoretical backroom game into something more urgent . . . The debate has been propelled from the guys with green biros in the back office right up into the board room.

Notably,  people in emerging markets are more inclined to use digital money with Indians the most optimistic both about central bank digital currency and coins issued by tech companies.

Among developed economies, people were Japan, the UK and Canada were ready to trust CBDC, while  France, Germany or Italy opposed to it reflecting the degree of trust towards central banks. The US citizens had  the strongest preference for using cash.