Should a central bank take over the provision of e-money, a circulable electronic liability? We discuss how e-money technology changes the tradeoff between public and private provision, and the tradeoff between e-money and a central bank's existing liabilities like bank notes and reserves.
Recent years have witnessed the advances of e-money systems such as Bitcoin, PayPal and various forms of stored-value cards. This paper adopts a mechanism design approach to identify some essential features of different payment systems that implement and improve the constrained optimal resource allocation.
What makes e-money more special than cash? Is the introduction of e-money necessarily welfare enhancing? Is an e-money system necessarily stable? What is the optimal way to design an efficient and stable e-money scheme?
Consider the monetary model of Lagos and Wright (JPE 2005) but with general preferences and general production. I show that preferences satisfying UXXUHH – (UXH)2 = 0 is a sufficient condition for the existence and uniqueness of monetary equilibrium with degenerate money distribution.