What is money? Textbooks talk of a stable, fungible and convenient medium of exchange and store of value. The idea persists for some that it should be rooted at least nominally in metal that our ancestors found hard to get. For the rest who don’t stop to wonder what underpins its validity, it’s a tremendously efficient belief system. The quality driving that faith, and the other characteristics besides, is trust.
OMFIF undertook a major survey recently into retail attitudes to central banks, commercial banks and other payment providers as these institutions consider a tech-driven money revolution. While it is clear that cash is losing its relative convenience, we found pockets of apathy and even antipathy in developed markets toward the introduction of digital currency, especially from private sector institutions.
Both state and private agents need to work to bring the public with them to trust this version of money. It is also not clear that the two sectors trust one another quite yet. We are setting up OMFIF’s Digital Monetary Institute to bring them together for useful conversations in an off-the-record setting, just as we do more broadly for monetary and macro policy, underpinned by regular commentary and research from our renowned team.