Interest in financial digitalization has been intensifying within the ASEAN+3 region. Several central banks in the region have made significant progress on the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) front, and are at various stages of progress with their respective projects. Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand are considered to have among the ten most mature wholesale CBDC projects globally, while China, Cambodia, and Korea have among the ten most mature retail CBDC projects.

This note examines the motivations behind ASEAN+3 central bank interest in CBDCs, and provides a comprehensive primer on the key features of this financial instrument. It also includes a stocktake of regional CBDC developments, and suggestions on possible areas for further research.