Top 10 Ways Blockchain Based CBDC And Cryptocurrency Are Different

Top 10 Ways Blockchain Based CBDC And Cryptocurrency Are Different

July 19, 2023 by Diana Ambolis
A blockchain-based CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) is a form of digital currency issued by a central bank and built on a blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT). It represents a digital equivalent of a country’s fiat currency, such as the US dollar or the euro, but in a purely digital form. Unlike traditional forms
Top 10 Ways Blockchain Based CBDC And Cryptocurrency Are Different

A blockchain-based CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) is a form of digital currency issued by a central bank and built on a blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT). It represents a digital equivalent of a country’s fiat currency, such as the US dollar or the euro, but in a purely digital form. Unlike traditional forms of digital payments, which rely on intermediaries like commercial banks, a CBDC operates directly under the control and supervision of the central bank.

The blockchain technology underlying a CBDC ensures transparency, security, and immutability of transactions. It enables the recording and verification of every transaction made using digital currency, creating a decentralized and tamper-proof ledger of all transactions. This provides a high level of trust and eliminates the need for intermediaries.


The key features of a blockchain-based CBDC include:

1. Centralized control: The central bank maintains full control over the issuance, distribution, and regulation of the CBDC. It sets the monetary policies, manages the supply, and ensures compliance with the existing financial regulations.

2. Blockchain architecture: Transactions and data related to the CBDC are recorded on a blockchain or DLT. This allows for a transparent and secure ledger that can be audited and verified by multiple parties.

3. Digital identity: A CBDC can be designed to incorporate digital identity solutions, providing a way to authenticate and verify the participants in a transaction. This helps prevent fraudulent activities and enhances the security of the system.

4. Privacy and confidentiality: While blockchain technology offers transparency, CBDC implementations can incorporate privacy features to protect the identities and transaction details of users. The level of privacy may vary depending on the design choices made by the central bank.

5. Programmability: Smart contract functionality can be integrated into a blockchain-based CBDC, allowing for the creation of programmable money. This enables the automation of certain financial processes, such as conditional payments and enforceable contracts.

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual form of currency that relies on cryptographic techniques to secure transactions, control the creation of new units, and verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies operate on decentralized networks, typically based on blockchain or DLT, and are not controlled by any central authority, such as a government or central bank.

Also, read – Why CBDC’s are Good News for Blockchain Adoption

Key characteristics of cryptocurrencies include:

1. Decentralization: Cryptocurrencies are typically decentralized, meaning that no single entity has control over the currency or the transactions. Instead, they operate on a distributed network of computers, ensuring transparency and reducing the risk of censorship or manipulation.

2. Security: Cryptocurrencies use cryptographic techniques to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. This ensures the integrity and authenticity of the transactions and prevents fraud or unauthorized modifications.

3. Anonymity: While some cryptocurrencies provide a certain level of anonymity, others may offer pseudonymity, where transactions are linked to addresses rather than real-world identities. However, it is important to note that some cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are not completely anonymous, as the transaction history is publicly recorded on the blockchain.

4. Limited supply: Many cryptocurrencies have a limited supply, meaning that there is a cap on the total number of units that can ever exist. For example, Bitcoin has a maximum supply of 21 million coins. This limited supply can provide protection against inflation and ensure scarcity, potentially impacting the value of the cryptocurrency.

5. Use cases and utility: Cryptocurrencies can serve various purposes beyond being a medium of exchange. Some cryptocurrencies are designed to facilitate smart contracts, decentralized applications (DApps), or provide specialized services within a blockchain ecosystem.

6. Volatility: Cryptocurrencies are known for their price volatility, with values often experiencing significant fluctuations within short periods. Factors such as market demand, regulatory developments, and investor sentiment can greatly influence cryptocurrency prices. This volatility can present both opportunities and risks for investors and users.

7. Peer-to-peer transactions: Cryptocurrencies enable direct peer-to-peer transactions without the need for intermediaries like banks. This can lead to faster and more cost-effective cross-border transactions, especially compared to traditional banking systems that involve multiple intermediaries and complex processes.

8. Tokenization and asset representation: Blockchain technology allows for the tokenization of real-world assets, such as real estate, artwork, or commodities. By representing these assets as digital tokens on a blockchain, cryptocurrencies enable fractional ownership, increased liquidity, and easier transferability.

9. Innovation and decentralization: Cryptocurrencies have sparked significant innovation in financial technology and decentralized applications. They provide a platform for developers to create new decentralized systems, applications, and financial instruments, fostering innovation and experimentation in the financial sector.

10. Regulatory considerations: The rise of cryptocurrencies has prompted governments and regulatory bodies worldwide to develop frameworks and regulations to address concerns such as money laundering, fraud, consumer protection, and market stability. The regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies is evolving and can vary significantly between jurisdictions.

It’s worth noting that while CBDCs and cryptocurrencies both involve digital currencies, they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. CBDCs are typically issued by central banks and operate within existing financial systems, aiming to enhance efficiency, financial inclusion, and regulatory control. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are decentralized digital currencies that operate independently of central authorities, emphasizing privacy, security, and financial sovereignty for users.

Overall, blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies represent two different approaches to digital currencies, each with its own unique features, use cases, and implications for the financial landscape.

Importance of Blockchain-based CBDC and Cryptocurrency for the economy

Blockchain-based CBDC and cryptocurrencies have the potential to bring several important benefits to the economy. Let’s explore their significance in more detail:

1. Financial Inclusion: Both blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies can promote financial inclusion by providing access to digital financial services to unbanked or underbanked populations. By leveraging blockchain technology, individuals without access to traditional banking infrastructure can participate in the digital economy, make transactions, and store value securely.

2. Efficiency and Cost Reduction: Blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies can streamline financial processes and reduce transaction costs. By eliminating intermediaries and utilizing decentralized networks, transactions can be settled faster and at lower fees compared to traditional banking systems. This increased efficiency can benefit businesses and individuals by reducing the time and costs associated with financial transactions.

3. Cross-Border Transactions: Cryptocurrencies have the potential to simplify and expedite cross-border transactions. Traditional cross-border transfers often involve multiple intermediaries, complex processes, and high fees. Cryptocurrencies can facilitate direct peer-to-peer transactions across borders, bypassing the need for intermediaries, and potentially reducing costs and settlement times.

4. Innovation and Economic Growth: The emergence of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies has stimulated technological innovation and entrepreneurial activity. These digital currencies provide a platform for developers to create decentralized applications, smart contracts, and novel financial instruments. This innovation can drive economic growth, create new job opportunities, and foster technological advancements in various sectors.

5. Financial Sovereignty: Cryptocurrencies, in particular, offer individuals and businesses a degree of financial sovereignty. By providing control over one’s funds without reliance on central authorities, cryptocurrencies empower users to have ownership and agency over their wealth. This can be especially valuable in regions with economic instability, hyperinflation, or limited access to traditional banking services.

6. Transparency and Accountability: The underlying blockchain technology of both CBDCs and cryptocurrencies offers enhanced transparency and accountability. Every transaction recorded on the blockchain is immutable and can be audited by multiple parties. This can help prevent fraud, improve regulatory compliance, and foster trust in the financial system.

7. Economic Resilience: Blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies have the potential to increase the resilience of the economy. By utilizing decentralized networks and cryptography, these digital currencies can be more resistant to censorship, hacking, and fraud. This resilience can provide individuals and businesses with a more secure and stable means of storing value and conducting transactions, even in times of economic uncertainty.

8. Democratization of Investments: Cryptocurrencies allow for the democratization of investment opportunities. Traditional investment markets often have high barriers to entry, such as minimum investment amounts and complex processes. Cryptocurrencies enable individuals to invest in digital assets with smaller amounts, participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs), or engage in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, potentially expanding investment opportunities for a broader range of people.

9. Enhanced Financial Privacy: Cryptocurrencies can provide users with increased financial privacy compared to traditional banking systems. Transactions conducted with cryptocurrencies can be pseudonymous, meaning they are linked to digital addresses rather than real-world identities. This can protect sensitive financial information and provide individuals with greater control over their personal data.

10. Micropayments and Microtransactions: Blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies enable micropayments and microtransactions with minimal transaction fees. This opens up opportunities for new business models, such as pay-per-use services, content monetization, and micro-donations. The ability to make low-cost transactions in real-time can spur economic activity and support emerging sectors.

11. Financial Empowerment and Economic Equality: Blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies have the potential to empower individuals and communities economically. By providing access to digital currencies and financial services, marginalized populations can participate in the digital economy, access capital, and build wealth. This can help bridge the economic divide and promote economic equality.

12. Improved Efficiency in Remittances: Remittances, which involve individuals sending money across borders to their home countries, often come with high fees and lengthy processing times. Cryptocurrencies can significantly improve the efficiency of remittance transactions by reducing costs and settlement times. This can have a positive impact on the livelihoods of families and communities heavily reliant on remittances.

13. Stimulating Entrepreneurship and Startups: The availability of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies can foster entrepreneurship and startup growth. These digital currencies provide a decentralized fundraising mechanism through ICOs or token sales, enabling entrepreneurs to access capital and launch innovative projects. This can lead to job creation, economic diversification, and the development of new industries.

14. Increased Financial Literacy: The rise of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies has prompted individuals to become more educated about financial systems, technology, and digital assets. The need to understand concepts such as wallets, private keys, and blockchain networks encourages financial literacy and digital competency, which are valuable skills in the modern digital economy.

15. Strengthening Trust in the Financial System: Blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies have the potential to restore trust in the financial system. By leveraging transparent and auditable blockchain networks, these digital currencies can enhance trust among participants, reduce the risk of fraud and corruption, and provide a more accountable and trustworthy financial infrastructure.

16. Global Financial Access: Cryptocurrencies can provide financial access to individuals in regions with limited or unstable banking systems. Through the use of mobile devices and internet connectivity, individuals can access and use cryptocurrencies, bypassing the need for traditional banking infrastructure. This can promote financial inclusion on a global scale and enable participation in the global economy.

17. Research and Development: The adoption of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies drives research and development efforts in areas such as cryptography, distributed systems, consensus mechanisms, and decentralized finance. This research can lead to technological advancements, knowledge dissemination, and the creation of intellectual property, contributing to overall economic progress.

It’s important to note that the realization of these potential benefits depends on various factors, including regulatory frameworks, technological advancements, user adoption, and the ability to address challenges and risks associated with blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies.

While the potential benefits are significant, it’s important to note that both blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies also present challenges and considerations, such as regulatory frameworks, cybersecurity risks, and price volatility. These factors need to be carefully addressed and managed to ensure the optimal integration and utilization of these digital currencies in the economy.


Top 10 Differences Between Blockchain-based CBDCs and Cryptocurrencies

Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the way we think about money. Central banks around the world are exploring the possibility of issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), while cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have become increasingly popular.

While both CBDCs and cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology, there are some key differences between the two. Here are the top 10 ways in which CBDCs and cryptocurrencies differ:

  1. Issuance: CBDCs are issued by central banks, while cryptocurrencies are issued by private individuals or organizations.
  2. Control: CBDCs are centrally controlled by the issuing central bank, while cryptocurrencies are decentralized and controlled by a network of users.
  3. Volatility: CBDCs are designed to be relatively stable in value, while cryptocurrencies are often highly volatile.
  4. Privacy: CBDC transactions are typically more transparent than cryptocurrency transactions, as they are recorded on a public blockchain.
  5. Use cases: CBDCs are primarily intended for use as a means of payment, while cryptocurrencies have a wider range of use cases, including speculation and investment.
  6. Regulation: CBDCs are subject to government regulation, while cryptocurrencies are not.
  7. Acceptance: CBDCs are likely to be widely accepted by merchants and businesses, while cryptocurrencies are still relatively illiquid.
  8. Security: CBDCs are considered to be relatively secure, as they are protected by cryptography. However, cryptocurrencies have been the target of numerous hacks and scams.
  9. Scalability: CBDCs are designed to be scalable to meet the needs of a large number of users. However, cryptocurrencies have scalability issues, which can lead to high transaction fees.
  10. Sustainability: CBDCs are considered to be more sustainable than cryptocurrencies, as they do not require the use of a significant amount of energy.

These are just some of the key differences between CBDCs and cryptocurrencies. As blockchain technology continues to develop, it is likely that we will see even more innovative ways to use this technology to create new forms of money.


Risks associated with Blockchain based CBDC and Cryptocurrency

Blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies come with inherent risks and challenges that need to be carefully considered. Here are some of the key risks associated with these digital currencies:

1. Regulatory Uncertainty: The regulatory landscape surrounding blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies is still evolving. Different jurisdictions may have varying approaches, creating uncertainty for users, businesses, and investors. Regulatory changes or restrictions can impact the adoption, operation, and value of these digital currencies.

2. Price Volatility: Cryptocurrencies are known for their price volatility. The value of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate dramatically within short periods, which can lead to potential financial losses for investors and affect market stability. Factors such as market demand, regulatory decisions, technological developments, and investor sentiment can greatly influence price movements.

3. Security and Hacking Risks: Blockchain technology itself is considered secure, but the surrounding infrastructure and user practices can introduce vulnerabilities. Cryptocurrency exchanges and digital wallets are potential targets for hackers, and instances of cyberattacks and theft have occurred. If not properly secured, private keys or access credentials can be compromised, resulting in the loss of funds.

4. Lack of Consumer Protection: Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, and in case of fraud or loss, it can be challenging to recover funds. Unlike traditional banking systems that offer various consumer protections and dispute resolution mechanisms, cryptocurrencies generally lack similar safeguards. Users need to exercise caution and responsibility when handling their digital assets.

5. Potential for Money Laundering and Illicit Activities: The pseudonymous nature of some cryptocurrencies can be exploited for illicit activities, including money laundering, tax evasion, and illegal transactions. While efforts are being made to enhance transparency and compliance, there are still concerns about the misuse of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes, which can invite regulatory scrutiny and impact their reputation.

6. Lack of Scalability: Blockchain networks, especially those used for cryptocurrencies, face scalability challenges. As the number of transactions increases, the capacity of the network to process them efficiently can be strained. This can result in delays, increased fees, and reduced user experience. Scalability solutions, such as layer-two protocols, are being developed, but widespread implementation is still ongoing.

7. Environmental Impact: Some cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, rely on energy-intensive mining processes. The significant energy consumption associated with mining has raised concerns about the environmental impact and sustainability of cryptocurrencies. Addressing these concerns will require the development and adoption of more energy-efficient consensus mechanisms and renewable energy sources.

8. Centralization Risks: While cryptocurrencies aim to be decentralized, certain aspects can exhibit centralization risks. Concentration of mining power, wealth distribution, and influence of large cryptocurrency holders (whales) can impact market dynamics and introduce vulnerabilities. Centralization can undermine the original principles of decentralization and result in market manipulation or control by a few entities.

9. Lack of Interoperability: The lack of standardized protocols and interoperability between different blockchain networks and cryptocurrencies can limit their usability and hinder their integration into existing financial systems. Fragmentation and compatibility issues can impede the seamless transfer and exchange of digital assets across different platforms.

10. Technology and Adoption Risks: Blockchain technology is still relatively new and rapidly evolving. There are risks associated with the development, implementation, and adoption of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies. Technical vulnerabilities, bugs, or flaws in the code could be exploited, leading to potential disruptions, loss of funds, or compromised security.

11. Perception and Reputation Risks: The reputation of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies can be influenced by negative media coverage, scams, fraudulent schemes, or market manipulations. Negative events or perceptions can erode trust and confidence in these digital currencies, hindering their widespread adoption and acceptance.

It’s important to note that efforts are being made to address these risks and challenges through ongoing research, technological advancements, industry collaboration, and regulatory initiatives. Governments and regulatory bodies are actively working on implementing frameworks to address concerns such as investor protection, anti-money laundering, and market integrity.

Furthermore, industry players are investing in improving security measures, developing more user-friendly interfaces, and enhancing the scalability and interoperability of blockchain networks. Increased awareness, education, and best practices can also help mitigate risks associated with these digital currencies.

As with any emerging technology, blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies carry inherent risks that require careful consideration and risk management. It is essential for users, investors, and policymakers to stay informed, understand the risks involved, and take appropriate measures to protect themselves and ensure the responsible and sustainable growth of these digital currencies.


Future of Blockchain-based CBDC and Cryptocurrency

The future of blockchain-based Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and cryptocurrencies holds significant potential for transformative changes in the financial landscape. Here’s a detailed exploration of what lies ahead:

1. Increased Adoption and Integration: We can expect to see wider adoption of blockchain-based CBDCs as central banks worldwide explore their potential. Several countries, including China, Sweden, and the Bahamas, have already made significant progress in developing and piloting CBDC projects. As more central banks recognize the benefits of CBDCs, we can anticipate increased integration of digital currencies into existing financial systems.

Person Using Mobile Phone To Make Cbdc Transaction

2. Enhanced Financial Inclusion: Blockchain-based CBDCs have the potential to improve financial inclusion by providing access to digital financial services for unbanked or underbanked populations. These digital currencies can enable individuals to participate in the digital economy, access banking services, and make transactions securely using mobile devices. This can help bridge the gap between traditional banking and the underserved populations, fostering economic empowerment.

Group Of People In Developing Country Using Mobile Phone To Access Financial Services

3. Interoperability and Cross-Border Transactions: Efforts are underway to establish interoperability between different blockchain networks and digital currencies. This would enable seamless cross-border transactions and the transfer of value across different platforms. Interoperability can unlock new opportunities for international trade, remittances, and global financial integration, making cross-border transactions more efficient and cost-effective.

Person Sending Money To Another Person In Different Country Using Cbdc

4. Improved Scalability and Efficiency: Blockchain technology is continually evolving to address scalability challenges. Solutions such as layer-two protocols, sidechains, and off-chain transactions are being developed to enhance the scalability of blockchain networks. These advancements will enable faster transaction processing, reduced fees, and improved overall efficiency, making blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies more practical for everyday transactions.

Blockchain Network With Many Nodes

5. Integration with Internet of Things (IoT): The convergence of blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) holds immense potential. Blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies can be integrated with IoT devices, enabling autonomous machine-to-machine transactions and micro-payments. This integration can revolutionize sectors such as supply chain management, smart cities, and connected devices, facilitating seamless and secure transactions between IoT devices.

Smart Home Device Making Payment Using Cbdc

6. DeFi and Decentralized Applications (DApps): Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platforms and DApps are already gaining traction within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. These platforms enable users to access various financial services, including lending, borrowing, and trading, without the need for intermediaries. As blockchain-based CBDCs gain popularity, we can expect to see the development of DeFi platforms that incorporate both traditional and digital currencies, offering a broader range of financial services to users.

Person Using Decentralized Exchange To Trade Cryptocurrencies

7. Enhanced Privacy and Security Features: Privacy concerns are being addressed with the development of more privacy-centric blockchain protocols. Innovations such as zero-knowledge proofs, secure multi-party computation, and advanced encryption techniques are being integrated into blockchain networks to enhance privacy and security features. This will provide users with greater control over their personal data and transactional privacy, ensuring a balance between transparency and individual privacy.


8. Regulatory Frameworks and Standards: Governments and regulatory bodies are actively working on developing regulatory frameworks and standards for blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies. These frameworks aim to address concerns such as investor protection, money laundering, and market stability. The establishment of clear regulations can foster confidence among users, businesses, and institutional investors, leading to increased adoption and institutionalization of digital currencies.


9. Integration of Smart Contracts: Smart contracts, self-executing agreements coded on the blockchain, have the potential to revolutionize various industries. With the integration of smart contracts into blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies, we can expect to see the automation of contractual agreements, simplified supply chain management, and improved transparency in financial transactions.

Contract Being Signed On Blockchain

10. Innovation and New Use Cases: The future of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies will likely witness continued innovation and the emergence of new use cases. The versatile nature of blockchain technology allows for the creation of decentralized applications and the tokenization of real-world assets. We can anticipate the development of novel financial instruments, fractional ownership of assets, and the integration of blockchain into sectors such as healthcare, energy, and governance.

It’s important to note that the future of blockchain-based CBDCs and cryptocurrencies will also be influenced by factors such as technological advancements, regulatory developments, market dynamics, and public perception. The successful realization of their potential will depend on striking a balance between innovation, security, and regulatory compliance, fostering trust and confidence in these digital currencies.