Should the United States Issue a Central Bank Digital Currency? Lessons from Abroad
If the web 3.0 requires a public ledger–based payments platform, central bank digital currency (CBDC) is unlikely to provide the digital currency needed to fuel the smart contracts of tomorrow. This payments dilemma can be solved by a hybrid digital currency that includes a new type of bank deposit as well as regulated private stablecoins, both of which clear and settle on a next-generation public ledger created and managed as a joint venture between banks and private stablecoin issuers. With this payments platform under Federal Reserve oversight, there would be no need for the Federal Reserve to issue CBDC.
- Fed CBDC looks a lot like the "TNB" business model rejected by the Fed.
- Should the Fed issue CBDC, politics could shape CBDC design.
- Instruments like private stablecoins have been in use for centuries.
- If the existing payments system cannot evolve to meet the needs of web 3.0, a public ledger payments system may be inevitable.
Center Affiliation: Center for Financial Innovation and Stability
JEL classification: E42, E58
Key words: central bank digital currency, private stablecoins, web 3.0, smart contracts
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