Will CBDC Work Offline?

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Wondering if Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) could work offline? Many central banks are pondering the same question, recognizing the importance of offline functionality to make digital currencies accessible for all.

This blog is your go-to guide on this topic, covering everything from research and feasibility studies to security considerations surrounding offline CBDC use. Ready to explore the world of offline digital currencies? Let’s dive in!

Will CBDC Work Offline?

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are primarily designed to function within a digital ecosystem, but offline use is a potential consideration.

In offline scenarios, where an internet connection is unavailable, the ability of CBDCs to work depends on the specific design and technology employed by the issuing central bank. Some CBDC systems may support limited offline transactions, enabling individuals to make payments using stored value on a mobile wallet or a physical token.

However, full offline functionality raises security and fraud concerns, so central banks need to strike a balance between convenience and risk management. The extent to which CBDCs will work offline will likely vary from one jurisdiction to another and evolve over time as technology advances and regulatory frameworks develop.

Key Takeaways

  • Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) can work offline, allowing individuals to make digital transactions without an online connection.
  • Offline CBDC use requires robust security measures to prevent counterfeiting and fraud.
  • Companies like Samsung are exploring the development of offline CBDC systems that work with their Galaxy devices.
  • Various wallet solutions, including mobile apps, digital wallets, hardware wallets, QR code technology, and peer-to-peer transfers, are being developed to facilitate secure offline CBDC transactions.

Understanding Offline CBDC Use

Offline payments with CBDCs provide a secure solution for individuals to make digital transactions without requiring an online connection, mitigating the risk of counterfeiting and fraud.

Offline payments with CBDCs

CBDCs can work offline. Central banks say this is key for everyone to use them. With offline systems, you check funds and make sure deals are good without going online. But there are problems too.

It must be very safe so no one fakes or steals digital money when it’s used offline. Right now, all CBDC payments need a remote ledger, just like cash does not need internet to work offline.

Samsung is making an offline CBDC that will run on Galaxy devices even with no internet ties.

Security concerns and considerations

Ensuring the security of offline CBDC use is crucial to prevent digital counterfeiting and fraud. Central banks and technology companies are exploring secure solutions that protect against these risks.

For example, Samsung is developing an offline CBDC system that works with their Galaxy devices to enable safe transactions between owners. ProgressSoft emphasizes the need for robust security measures as all CBDC payments involve a remote ledger, which means they are not truly peer-to-peer or offline like cash.

It is essential for CBDC systems to provide adequate protection and build trust among users by addressing security concerns effectively.

Research and Publications on Offline CBDC Use

The BIS Innovation Hub has recently published a comprehensive guide on the use of offline CBDCs, providing valuable insights and recommendations for central banks.

BIS Innovation Hub’s guide on offline CBDC use

The BIS Innovation Hub has released a comprehensive guide that explores the use of offline Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). This guide addresses key issues and considerations for how CBDCs can function without relying on an online ledger.

It emphasizes the importance of security against digital counterfeiting and fraud in offline CBDC transactions. The BIS Innovation Hub’s guide demonstrates the growing interest among central banks in enabling offline functionality for their CBDCs, making digital currencies more accessible even in areas with limited or no internet connectivity.

Project Polaris: Handbook for offline payments with CBDC

One important publication on the topic of offline CBDC use is the “Project Polaris: Handbook for offline payments with CBDC.” This comprehensive paper addresses key issues and considerations surrounding how Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) could function in an offline capacity.

It provides insights into the technical aspects, security measures, and possible solutions to enable secure offline transactions using CBDCs. This handbook aims to guide central banks and other stakeholders in developing robust and secure systems for offline digital payments with CBDCs.

ProgressSoft’s perspective on offline use in CBDCs

ProgressSoft emphasizes that offline use in Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) is a crucial consideration. They highlight the challenge of achieving genuine peer-to-peer and offline functionality like cash, as all CBDC payments involve a remote ledger.

ProgressSoft agrees with the need for secure solutions to prevent digital counterfeiting and fraud in offline CBDC use. They support the idea of enabling individuals and businesses to use digital currencies even in situations where internet connectivity is limited or not available.

By addressing these concerns, ProgressSoft believes that CBDCs can provide an accessible and secure payment option for everyone.

Exploring the Feasibility of Offline CBDCs

Central banks have been engaging in discussions about the feasibility of offline CBDCs, and companies like Samsung are actively exploring the potential for offline functionality in digital payment systems.

Central banks’ discussions on offline CBDCs

Central banks are exploring the feasibility of enabling offline functionality for CBDCs.

Samsung’s exploration of offline CBDCs

Samsung, a well-known technology company, is actively exploring the development of offline Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). They aim to create a secure and convenient solution that allows CBDCs to be sent between owners using their Galaxy devices.

This offline functionality would enable individuals and businesses to use digital currencies even in situations where there is limited or no internet connectivity. By participating in the exploration of offline CBDCs, Samsung is contributing to the advancements in digital payment systems and financial technology.

Wallet solutions for offline CBDC payments

Wallet solutions for offline CBDC payments are being developed by various companies and organizations. These solutions aim to provide secure and convenient ways for individuals and businesses to use digital currencies even when there is no internet connectivity. Here are some key points about wallet solutions for offline CBDC payments:

  1. Mobile banking apps: Many banks are developing mobile apps that allow users to store and manage their CBDCs offline. These apps can be accessed even without an internet connection, providing a convenient way for users to make offline transactions.
  2. Digital wallets: Digital wallet providers are also working on incorporating offline functionality into their platforms. With a digital wallet, users can securely store their CBDCs and make transactions directly from their device, even without an internet connection.
  3. Hardware wallets: Hardware wallets offer an extra layer of security for offline CBDC storage and transactions. These physical devices store the user’s private keys securely, ensuring that funds cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties.
  4. QR code technology: Some wallet solutions use QR codes to facilitate offline CBDC transactions. Users can generate a QR code containing transaction details and scan it with another device or point-of-sale terminal to complete the transaction securely.
  5. Peer-to-peer transfers: Wallet solutions may also enable peer-to-peer transfers of CBDCs between individuals with offline functionality. This allows users to send funds directly to each other without the need for an online ledger or intermediaries.


In conclusion, central banks are actively researching and exploring the feasibility of offline CBDC use. While there are challenges to address, such as security concerns and the need for secure solutions against digital counterfeiting and fraud, the goal is to ensure accessibility and convenience for individuals and businesses in situations where internet connectivity is limited or unavailable.

With ongoing efforts by institutions like Samsung and publications from organizations like BIS Innovation Hub, it is clear that offline functionality for CBDCs is being prioritized.

Ultimately, with the right measures in place, CBDCs have the potential to work effectively offline.


What is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is an online form of digital cash that’s managed by the central bank, similar to cryptocurrency.

Can CBDC work offline?

Yes, with financial technology (Fintech) and blockchain technology, offline digital payment systems are possible allowing peer-to-peer transactions even without internet access for CBDCs.

How does CBDC prevent fraud in offline transactions?

The use of fintech and blockchain in creating CBDC supports fraud prevention. Even though it’s used largely for online purposes,such technologies help secure offline peer-to-peer transactions too.

Is there any difference between cryptocurrency and CBDC when doing peer-to-peer transactions?

While both can be used for peer-to-peer transactions, the key difference lies in who controls them; cryptocurrencies are decentralized while CBDCs are controlled by the central bank.



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About the Author:
Alex Sterling stands at the forefront of blockchain innovation, offering a technical perspective rooted in a Computer Science background. Specializing in decentralized systems, Alex's articles dissect blockchain technologies and crypto market trends, making intricate details comprehensible for readers. They are deeply involved in blockchain project development, frequently sharing their technical expertise at tech conferences. Alex's work aims to educate and inspire readers about the transformative potential of blockchain and cryptocurrency.