Central bank digital currencies – who will be the first?

The forum for central banks and private sector participants

OMFIF, the global central banking think tank, announces the launch of the Digital Monetary Institute. This creates a high-level group which convenes policy-makers, technologists, financiers and regulators to explore the challenges and opportunities of digital finance. The principal focus will be on payments instruments in wholesale and retail markets, with central bank digital currency being of particular interest. This builds on OMFIF research in the field, including a major survey on trust in monetary institutions which found that central banks were the most trusted institutions to issue digital currency.

In the wake of private sector challenges to fiat currency, and as governments and central banks consider helicopter money to alleviate the economic crisis, the CBDC agenda is now close to the top of the policy-maker in-tray. Cash is losing its relative convenience. CBDC may transform the extra-territorial weight of leading currencies and become a significant factor in geopolitics. Discussions on how CBDC, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies will potentially change society and financial services have been central to OMFIF’s recent research and off-the-record meetings.

An independent and neutral platform

CBDC issuance will require central banks to support innovation while mitigating risks to financial stability and monetary sovereignty. OMFIF’s Digital Monetary Institute will serve as an independent and neutral platform to foster dialogue on the most effective policy and legislative framework for CBDC technology and adoption.

The Institute is supported by several central banks and governments keen to collaborate with technology service providers on designing and using CBDC.

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