Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency

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11 October 2016
John Dwyer

I just published a new report titled Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency: Assessing Central Bank Perspectives of DLT and Implications for Fiat Currency and Policy Stimulus.

The future of DLT appears inextricably linked with the future of banking & capital markets and given the significant impact that central banks are having upon finance, the perspectives of this critical constituency warrants careful examination with respect to such a game-changing technology.

On 28 September 2016, the Financial Services Committee met with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the Semi-Annual Testimony on the Federal Reserve’s Supervision and Regulation of the Financial System. Yellen informed the committee members that blockchain could have very significant implications for the payments system, and innovation using these technologies could be extremely helpful and bring benefits to society.

This is further evidence of the significant and growing interest of central banks in DLT, but what is much less understood is how such technology could transform the role of central banks and commercial banks. Central bank-issued digital currencies present an opportunity to re-architect the financial system to achieve key central bank objectives. The perceived benefits include a new payments system, granular data on key macroeconomic variables, expansion of the policy stimulus toolkit, and improved prudential regulation.

Central banks themselves seem at an important juncture as they appear to be reaching the limits of their current policies — whether or not they are will only be determined with hindsight. In the meantime, in this report we delve into the mindset of central banks through analysing their extensive back catalogue of research to gain critical insights into the policy framework they may adopt going forward and how advances in technology may increasingly play a part.

This is the second in my current series of three reports on distributed ledger technology:

  • The first report considered DLT with gold (Micro Gold);
  • This report considers integrating DLT with Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency (CBDC);
  • The final report will compare fiat currency, Micro Gold, and cryptocurrencies as competition for payments systems, storing value, and money itself continues to rapidly unfold.


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Geographic Focus
Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America