In the global perspective of a widespread and active Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in the cross-border economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be useful in three ways: informing the public debate, summoning stakeholders to discuss policy options, helping individual countries to develop their own policy.
The CBDC is a new project and for this reason it is still not widespread, which is why the IMF should be more active in the first two areas mentioned, and then move to the third area of action when other member countries will begin to consider the CBDC as a valid one. option for the future.
- Inform the public debate. The IMF is currently investigating the implications of a widespread CBDC across the border. Compared to other institutions that are doing the same type of research, the IMF can count on the work of its private experts from different member countries. Furthermore, a future in which potentially several CBDC locations will exist, raises many doubts about cross-border payment systems or international monetary systems, which are at the heart of the IMF's mandate, which is why it has a strong incentive to closely follow the developments of this project. .
- Promote cooperation between stakeholders. The IMF is ideally placed to perform this task, given that it is an international public institution and therefore has the credibility and authority to mediate between central and technical banks, as well as between investors, businesses and research centers around the world . He has already done this repeatedly in his half-yearly meetings, in his "round table on fintech", and in his ad hoc research projects.
- Help governments evaluate CBDC policies as well as study alternative methods for payment systems. The IMF has a long experience in the field of technical assistance to countries that request it, and could also contribute through surveillance activities or financial situation analysis programs. It would therefore be a question of updating the terms with which the IMF has always supported the member countries, assessing the consequences of a national CBDC through a risk-benefit analysis.
Global development and implementation of the CBDC
Countries essentially differ from each other in the extent to which they actively explore the crypto sector and in the more or less close perspective of a potential state-backed cryptocurrency issue. Some countries have already launched pilot projects to explore the feasibility of a CBDC. Others are investing in fintech research.
Many are studying and evaluating some versions of possible regulations underlying a possible CBDC. There are nations which, despite considering CBDC as an occurrence, are actively exploring alternative solutions. There are also countries that do not immediately feel a need to address this topic and are focusing on improving regulations and payment systems already in use.
After the recent announcement by Facebook on the Libra initiative and that relating to the possible launch of a CBDC by the People's Bank of China, the interest towards the CBDC by the national institutions has undergone a surge that leaves one to guess with few doubts, which is the preferred direction for the future.