Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC ) is gaining momentum in most countries. Countries like Iran, Australia, and Europe, Australia are quietly planning possible CBDC launches. It is currently attracting the attention of the US Federal Reserve Board.
Australia’s Reserve Bank released a white paper on its CBDC pilot yesterday. The Central Bank of Iran has also announced plans to explore central bank digital currencies. The Federal Reserve announced earlier this year that it was considering a CBDC. The Federal Reserve will examine its potential risks and potential gains.
The aim is to create an efficient domestic payment system using a central bank digital currency in the United States. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks about his CBDC at the Banque de France digital finance panel.
Powell Wants CBDC to Have 4 Characteristics
Powell explains that if a CBDC is to be pursued, it should have four characteristics:
- It should be “mediated.”
- It should be “privately protected.”
- Powell said that “verification of identity” should be done.
This does not mean that the Federal Reserve’s digital currency will become a vehicle for anonymity. Information about owners, transferees, and transferees are public. The fourth feature that Powell mentioned is “interoperability.” He explained that he is trying to balance privacy and identity verification.
Powell suggests that the FED needs Congress and the executive branch’s approval to go ahead with the CBDC. He expects the process to take several years, as rigorous analysis is used to conclude.
Developing the currency requires input, commitment, and support from various stakeholders. Complete agreement among stakeholders is probably not possible. Good discussion and consensus is a pre-requisite.
Key stakeholders include government agencies, end users, financial institutions, technology and infrastructure providers, academia, and standards development organizations. Broad stakeholder support takes time due to the complex decisions required regarding system design.
Government Bodies Involved
Support from the government is critical in facilitating legal and social changes required to launch a CBDC. Government legislative and executive branches make essential decisions that can affect the design and implementation of CBDCs. For example, Congress voted for the power of the Federal Reserve to issue a general-purpose CBDC.
The potential for significant changes in the relationship between the Central Bank and the public. Federal agencies require support for a variety of design and implementation issues. These include taxes, public spending, counterfeiting, anti-money laundering, and cybersecurity. Coordination and harmonization of regulatory frameworks in different jurisdictions require the support of federal and state governments.
Ease to use is a crucial feature. We need to design a universal CBDC for people and organizations that spend money to pay for goods and services. It is essential to involve end-users of various ages, geographic locations, payment habits, and financial literacy in designing CBDC. This helps clarify a viable outline for the CBDC arrangement.
In-that, answers questions like, how will people use CBDC via smart cards, smartphones, fingerprints, and iris scans? What are the reasons for choosing CBDC over other payment methods? The designer must incorporate the benefits of retail trade. This could include cheaper and faster alternatives to existing payment options.