Monetary Implications of Digital Currencies
Monetary policy implications of three different forms of digital money – cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and central bank digital currency (CBDC) – are discussed. Because of their limited adoption and lack of moneyness, cryptocurrencies are unlikely to constrain monetary policy in the foreseeable future. Stablecoins, by contrast, could reach a critical size, in particular if they were sponsored by large companies with a sizeable potential user base. CBDC would constitute a digital representation of the official currency that is accessible to everybody and could entail material consequences for monetary policy and financial stability. At the current stage, central bankers mostly feel that a convincing monetary policy motivation is missing or are concerned about the disruptive potential for financial stability. As digitalisation of payments is evolving quickly, the assessment of costs and benefits associated with CBDC may change in the future.