Bank of International Settlements on crypto-currencies
The central bank of the worlds central banks, the Bank of International Settlement (“BIS”) in Basel, Switzerland has issued a research paper on how the worlds central banks think about crypto-currencies. The hypothetical benefits and risks of central bank digital currencies are being widely discussed.
A survey of central banks in the paper shows that a majority are collaboratively looking at the implications of a central bank issued digital currency. Although many have reached the stage of considering practical issues, central banks appear to be proceeding cautiously and few report plans to issue a digital currency in the short or medium term.
As usual, central banks are cautious. However the survey makes clear that 2/3 of all central banks are exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) but hardly any are at the pilot stage and even fewer see issuance as likely in the short or medium term.
The BIS paper adds to these discussions by taking stock of how progress and plans in this area are developing, based on the global survey. Responses show that central banks are proceeding with caution and most are only at a conceptual stage with their work. However, a handful have moved to considering practical issues and a couple of central banks might issue a digital currency in the short or medium term.