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Israel Plans to Launch Interest-Bearing CBDC

Israel’s Central Bank unveiled plans on March 11 to launch an interest-bearing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), dubbed the “digital shekel”. In a recent document, the Bank of Israel (BoI) outlined its proposal for the ‘digital shekel,’ highlighting key features such as wallet provision and bank payment services. The CBDC’s two-tier model will enable round-the-clock payments, offline use, quick payments, and multi payment support with balance caps in place. Currently, Israeli commercial banks pay 4.86% interest on customers’ fiat shekel savings and deposits. The BoI has been considering a digital shekel since 2021, even though pilot tests have yet to commence.

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