CBDC Mission to Bhutan

Jonas Gross
2 min readApr 21, 2024


End of last year, I had the honor of participating in an official mission arranged by the Asian Development Bank to the Kingdom of Bhutan. The primary aim of this mission was to evaluate the potential benefits, challenges and use cases of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the Kingdom of Bhutan. This fascinating mission extended over several days and included a series of productive meetings with stakeholders, as well as enlightening workshops with the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan. These workshops covered a thorough exploration of both retail and wholesale CBDC concepts, fostering the identification and in-depth discussion of possible use cases that could usher Bhutan into a new era of financial innovation and progress.

What are the main insights I gained?

1️⃣ Understanding the culture, mindset of the population, monetary systems, and political context is crucial in shaping the CBDC’s design. This underscores the vital role of on-site missions. In Bhutan’s context, I encountered a society with a deep-rooted preference for cash transactions (not for privacy reasons). Simultaneously, it displayed a remarkable willingness to embrace innovative solutions.

2️⃣ The successful adoption of CBDCs heavily relies on the widespread acceptance of digital payment methods. The proliferation of CBDCs depends on the presence of a broad network of merchants who embrace CBDCs and active participation of banking institutions in its distribution. Ultimately, the key lies in creating network effects.

Read the whole article on my blog.

About the author

Dr. Jonas Gross is the Co-founder and Chairman of the Digital Euro Association (DEA) and serves as the Chief Operating Officer at etonec, a consultancy and prototyping company specialized in digital money and assets. Within his roles, Jonas guides companies and central banks through the complexities of digital currencies, facilitating the development of value-adding solutions.

With a Ph.D. in economics, Jonas is a global thought leader on central bank digital currencies, stablecoins, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. Additionally, he co-hosts the German podcast “Bitcoin, Fiat, & Rock’n’ Roll,” serves as an external lecturer at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and contributes as a member of the expert panel for the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum.

Personal website: https://www.jonasgross.info/en/



Jonas Gross

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