In a new report released earlier in September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that crypto’s technical capabilities could bring the potential for central banks to create a rich, diverse monetary system and that the collaboration might actually be a good thing.
The IMF stated,
“We argue that the monetary system of the future should harness the new technical capabilities demonstrated by crypto but be grounded in the trust central banks provide (BIS 2022).”
The money proposed by the IMF looked to possess all these qualities of the underlying technology of crypto assets while providing more scalability and stability backed by central banks to the people using it.
Now The Big Boys Want In
Cryptocurrency undoubtedly succeeded in introducing innovations but apparently exposed certain shortcomings that hinder its lead to mainstream adoption.
The evidence includes the collapse of stablecoin project Terra, the price manipulation and volatility, and unprotected victims of crypto attacks – all could be explained by the lack of regulation.
The search for a better form of money has led the IMF to the concept of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and other public infrastructure that, “can underpin a rich and diverse monetary ecosystem that supports innovation in the public interest.”
According to the IMF, CBDCs will increase financial inclusion in nations by giving people access to banking accounts’ security and convenience, as well as, of course, the advantages of cryptographic technology.
Not a New Trend
In fact, a number of government officials had already included the central bank’s digital currency in the implementation prior to the publication of the IMF piece. With CBDCs, China has conducted numerous tests.
Following the success of earlier test locations, other Chinese cities have joined the currency testing program. The PBoC will boost the nation’s pilot scenario development and broaden the pilot program’s purview.
CBDC cannot be developed for international payments and, ideally, accepted by other nations through international payments unless it is widely used in the domestic market with open national laws.
According to the IMF, a future monetary system should contain both wholesale and retail CBDCs, which are financial organizations used to settle market transactions. Retail CBDCs are primarily used by individuals to pay other people and businesses.
The recent advancement of digital technologies like distributed ledger technology has contributed to the increased interest in CBDCs (DLT). The application of DLT technology can advance both global technological progress and regional financial technology.
According to the IMF, retail CBDCs can contribute in a similar way to the advancement of instant payment systems. Compared to crypto, a CBDC architecture is better able to handle legitimate transactions.
These new capabilities enable transactions not only across a wide range of financial intermediaries—not just commercial banks—but also the extension of transaction kinds.
Additionally, wholesale CBDCs collaborate internationally through multi-CBDC contracts involving many central banks and currencies.
People Love Cash
Despite the fact that the report underlines the benefits of establishing CBDCs, central banks continue to encounter problems. These challenges include training users on how to use it, authenticating identity, accessing it offline, and taking measures to preserve user privacy and security.
According to many experts, CBDC is overly centralized and might be utilized to strengthen governmental monitoring. This is due to the fact that, in contrast to the use of cash, digital transactions can be tracked online.
When it comes to preserving users’ privacy and avoiding financial censorship, the creation of CBDCs has a number of challenges that must be overcome before they can be implemented.
Bankers are concerned that CBDCs may be able to take over the role that they currently play in the financial system. There is a possibility that customers will move their money out of banks and deposit it directly into the central banks of their respective countries.
There will inevitably be a transition from physical currency to digital currency, regardless of the CBDC’s ultimate shape. Is the adoption of digital currency by central banks underway?