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Central Bank Digital Currencies Offer Flexibility: Chilean Bank Governor

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September 19, 2019 | 

682 Views | 

Darryn Pollock | 

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More and more central banks are starting to see the advantages of digitizing their currencies, and thanks to the bitcoin and blockchain revolution that is emerging, these bankers understand that using the new technology can add an additional edge of efficiency.

At first, there was  major backlash against cryptocurrencies from bankers and other such major financial institutions, but that sentiment is slowly thawing. The likes of JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo are now creating their own cryptocurrency in order to take advantage of the eeas of moving funds across borders. 

But perhaps even bigger is that central banks are starting to think about launching their own coins - with some nations getting really close, such as China. There is still a lot of thought going into building these coins, but their benefits are being expressed often.

That being said, central banks are also adamant that they want to be the one sin control of the coins as alternatives such as Libra and even Bitcoin do not suit their needs as they take the power away from the financial institutions. 

Now, Chile’s central bank governor, Mario Marcel, says central bank digital currencies (CBDC) can provide additional flexibility at a time of “unconventional monetary policies.”  This comes at a time where the global economy is under pressure and the central bankers are looking at ways to stimulate the economy.

Disruptive Fintech

For bankers, they may be able to ignore the growth of things like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but the burgeoning fintech space is something that would be foolish to miss out on. More based on the blockchain, the power of this technology tied to more centralized tokens offers flexibility for central bankers, according to Marcel.

“Disruptive technologies in Finance or ‘FinTech’ are transforming the financial industry landscape, challenging traditional business models. These technologies have been able to address some gaps in the traditional financial industry that can be grouped into five categories: Access, Speed, Cost, Transparency and Security.”

That being said, the governor argues that this new technology can also be adopted by the banking system itself to mitigate its disruptive potential. Essentially, because the technology is so dynamic, it offers the control that the bakers want, and can rein in the total freedom it is also capable of.

Moreover, distributed ledger technology can provide some benefits that conventional money technology cannot, according to Marcel.

Better the banks

The distributed ledger and the tokens used by central banker could “enhance market efficiency” based on some research, says Marcel. He also says these digital currencies can be more flexible in an “unconventional” monetary policy environment.

"Crisis management around the Zero Lower Bound. In a world of low real interest rates, the impact of unconventional monetary policies, such as QE, nominal GDP targeting and forward guidance, appears to be limited. Fixing negative nominal interest rates in a flexible way could improve the Central Banks’ toolkit,” he added 

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