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The author is saying that the wholesale CDBC applications are driven by smart-contracts -- implying that the smart-contracts are integral to the working of these applications. The hyphen connects the words to show that they are part of the same concept or thing.


No, there shouldn't be a hyphen. It is an error. 'Number one', used this way, is an adjective. Compound adjectives often do have hyphens (eg 'blue-green', or 'six-foot'). However, as you point out, both 'number' and 'one' are nouns ('one' can be an adjective, too, but as a name for the ordinal, it is a noun) and compound nouns do not always have hyphens. So, ...

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