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Monetary Policy and Digital Currencies: Much Ado about Nothing?

Christian Pfister ()

Working papers from Banque de France

Abstract: In spite of a still very low volume at the global level, in comparison with the main reserve currencies, digital currencies attract a lot of attention. The paper reminds that it is above all the exchange mechanism incorporated in digital currencies (the distributed ledger technology) which should contribute to their success. It is shown that a widespread use of these currencies is likely to materialize only under conditions that would essentially leave unchanged the capacity of the central bank to pursue the same inflation target using the same instruments as today, by setting an interest rate level. However, some adjustments may have to be made to the definition of monetary aggregates and possibly also to the base and/or the ratios of reserve requirements. Even in the most extreme and unlikely scenario, where the central bank would issue CBDC the public would have access to and massively adopt, banks’ role in distributing credit would likely not be seriously impaired. Banks might rather have less direct information on their clients. They would possibly also become more dependent on central bank refinancing, which would call for a clear and pre-announced lending of last resort policy in order to limit moral hazard considerations.

Keywords: Digital currencies; Money; Monetary policy. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E52 E58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-mac and nep-mon
Date: 2017
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bfr:banfra:642

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