Brazil to have news on digital currency soon - cenbank chief

BRASILIA, April 12 (Reuters) - Brazil’s central bank is making progress on plans to digitalize its currency, the real, and should have news on the matter soon, the bank’s president Roberto Campos Neto said on Monday.

In an online debate hosted by the Bank of Spain, Campos Neto said central banks around the world should deepen their discussions on digital currencies, which have common characteristics across several countries.

“We are making great progress on the digital currency process and we should have news soon,” said Campos Neto, without elaborating.

Among issues that still need to be determined are whether a digital real will be interest-bearing, and what kind of technology will be adopted, Campos Neto said.

Although the domestic use of electronic payments has exploded and mobile device technology and communication have improved recently, the real essentially remains a physical currency.

The central bank created a study group in August last year to weigh up the potential benefits and impact of issuing the real in a digital format.

The study is assessing risks involving cyber security, data protection and regulatory compliance issues, and evaluating how a digital currency will affect financial inclusion and stability, and the conduct of monetary and economic policies. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Isabel Versiani. Editing by Mark Potter)