CBDC Manifesto: Design Recommendations for a Retail CBDC

Jonas Gross
3 min readOct 12, 2022

by the Digital Euro Association, CBDC Think Tank and worldwide CBDC experts

How should a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) be designed to provide value for society? We are thrilled to announce the release of our CBDC Manifesto at the CBDC Summit in Washington D.C., a collection of five design recommendations for a retail CBDC, jointly developed by the Digital Euro Association, CBDC Think Tank, and world-leading CBDC experts.

The 5 CBDC design recommendations are:
1️⃣ A CBDC should have a strong value proposition (SVP) and tangible benefits for citizens. To drive adoption, it is not sufficient to offer a new means of payment that has the same features as today’s means of payment.

2️⃣ A CBDC should provide the highest degree of privacy. In this context, a CBDC should supply technically guaranteed privacy by design and by default, without the need to trust the central bank to preserve privacy. The CBDC can be utilized, ideally, by anonymous payments for small- and medium-sized transactions.

3️⃣ A CBDC should not be designed in a way to do harm to society, e.g., via very negative interest rates, or via so-called programmable money that restricts the use of money for specific types of expenditures (e.g., special food and beverages, computer games, etc.) or that expires after a certain amount of time. A CBDC should be based on principles of self-determination and freedom.

4️⃣ The development of a CBDC should follow a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders (central banks, financial institutions, associations, end-users, companies, researchers, etc.) and have a well-defined governance system. The design and development processes should be transparent, public, and open. Ideally, a CBDC should be open-source and use open-source technology to increase transparency.

5️⃣ The CBDC should exhibit technical, regulatory and usage interoperability, both locally and globally.

The CBDC Manifesto is supported by individuals, privacy sector organizations and central banks across the globe, who are in favor of a citizen-centric solution.

✏️ Please sign here (only takes 2 minutes) if you would like to support this initiative:

📄 Please find more information on the CBDC Manifesto here: https://cbdcmanifesto.com/

About the Digital Euro Association

The Digital Euro Association (DEA) is a think tank specializing in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), stablecoins, crypto assets, and other forms of digital money based in Frankfurt, Germany. In particular, it focuses on the digital euro. The DEA’s mission is to contribute to the public and political discourse through research, education, and by providing a platform and community for policy-makers, technologists, and economists to discuss digital money-related topics. The DEA is committed to independence and the furtherance of the public good through knowledge exchange, encouraging new ideas, and forward-thinking in the field of digital money. Partnerships and collaborations are in no way an endorsement of partner ideologies nor political regimes.

About the CBDC Think Tank

The CBDC Think Tank (CBDC TT) is a group of bankers, researchers, academics, members of international financial institutions (IFIs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) interested in the future of digital currencies and payments. The CBDC TT is agnostic to technology and vendors and seeks to facilitate communication between institutions and the public, encouraging the sharing, dissemination of knowledge through town halls, workshops and masterclasses. Although it engages in advisory work, its focus is on delivering impact that best aligns with the needs of its clients and the forward progress of human civilization



Jonas Gross

Jonas Gross is Chairman of the Digital Euro Association (DEA) and COO at etonec. Further, Jonas holds a PhD in Economics.