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Article31 Mar 2022

Digital Money: The Rise of the Entrepreneurial State

Recent technology developments, regulatory mandates, and pandemic induced change in consumer behavior towards digital are providing a significant impetus to digital money readiness. While some countries have taken advantage of these trends and marched ahead in driving readiness of their economies, others have struggled. What is common to several economies that are climbing up the readiness curve? Citi and Imperial College London’s revamped Digital Money Index provides answers to these and more.

Digital money is here and now. While the benefits of digital money adoption have been well
articulated and widely known for several years now, recent technology, regulatory and pandemic
induced consumer behavioral changes and developments have provided the necessary impetus
for a rapid acceleration of digital money readiness and adoption across the world.
However, driving digital money readiness and adoption has not been easy, as has been well
documented by Citi and Imperial College London over the past seven years. It requires collaboration
across economic stakeholders around a common digital vision and countries require a holistic digital
policy. Such a holistic digital policy, which is explained in more detail within this report, can enable
countries to reap the full benefits of a digitized economy. 

However, it is not just about policy. As this paper later explains, it appears that across developing
markets, policymakers who have followed up on their vision with targeted initiatives and direct
investments to develop the building blocks of a digital economy have managed to drive digital
adoption at an increased rate comparable to that of developed markets. Such countries have also
outperformed their peers on economic growth.

Acknowledging this critical role of governments in driving readiness and adoption, Citi and Imperial
College London revamped the Digital Money Index to provide sufficient primacy to government and
market support — as evidenced in one of the Index’s four core pillars. In addition to this, we have
augmented the index with several new indicators that are increasingly getting tracked and made
available across countries. All of this has helped us track and measure digital progress in a more
robust fashion. The digital money journey gets more exciting with every day.


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