Facebook launched Libra on 18th June 2019. Central Banks and governments around the world had to take note as there was a real possibility that their power and influence over their domestic currencies could face a real challenge, especially if Facebooks 2.5 billion clients started to actively use this proposed Digital Currency. Some governments were
initially hostile, especially the USA. For some bankers it must have come as no surprise as, for a while, the Bank of England (BoE) and the Peoples’ Bank of China (PBoC) have been researching and analysing the challenges and opportunities that a digital currency offers their citizens and economy, as well as giving them a new way to influence and control money in their respective jurisdictions.
The ‘Fed’ has recently announced an injection of $2 trillion to support the US economy given growing concerns about the impact that coronavirus will have on its economy, with millions of workers being confined to their homes and unable to work. Interestingly, the draft bill that was written by the House of Democrats included the proposal to create a ‘digital $’! .While it was removed from the final bill it the fact that a Digital $ was initially discussed serves to show how this matter is becoming more high profile. For a copy of the draft bill that proposed a Digital $ please use this link for a copy of the draft bill.
The Bank of England (B of E) past governor, Mark Carney, told Reuters recently, “While CBDC poses a number of opportunities, it could raise significant challenges for maintaining monetary and financial stability … and would need to be very carefully designed if it were to be introduced”. However, the B of E has recently issued a discussion paper titled, “Central Bank Digital Currency: opportunities, challenges and design”, and is looking for feedback and comments about CBDC. This new initiative builds on the work and analysis that the B of E has been doing for a number of years. Indeed, it produced a report in 2016 arguing that introducing a CBDC in the UK would add almost 3 per cent to the economy. That same year, a report from Ben Dyson and Graham Hodgson of non-profit group, Positive Money, said CBDC would enlarge the number of monetary tools that banks or politicians could use to stimulate growth in the economy. How…