In an increasingly digitalized world, issuers of private digital currency can weaken central banks’ ability to stabilize the economy. By continuing to make central bank money attractive as a payment instrument in a digital world, a central bank digital currency (CDBC) could help to maintain a country’s monetary sovereignty.
Staff analytical notes
Improving the conduct of monetary policy is unlikely to be the main motivation for central banks to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC). While some argue that a CBDC could allow more complex transfer schemes or the ability to break below the zero lower bound, we find these benefits might be small or difficult to realize in practice.
Staff discussion papers
We review the nascent but fast-growing literature on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), focusing on their potential impacts on private banks. We evaluate these impacts in three areas of traditional banking: payments, lending and liquidity and maturity transformation. We also take a broader look at CBDCs and highlight two promising directions for future research.
Staff working papers
We study economies where firms acquire capital in primary markets then retrade it in secondary markets after information on idiosyncratic productivity arrives. Our secondary markets incorporate bilateral trade with search, bargaining and liquidity frictions.
We consider introducing an expiry date for offline digital currency balances. Consumers whose digital cash expired would automatically receive the funds back into their online account. This functionality could increase demand for digital cash, with the time to expiry playing a key role.
Many central banks are considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). This would introduce a new policy tool—interest on CBDC. We investigate how this new tool would interact with traditional monetary policy tools, such as the interest on central bank reserves.
In a cashless economy, would the private sector invest in the optimal level of safety in a deposit-based payment system? In general, because of externalities, the answer is no. While the private sector could over- or under-invest in safety, the government can use taxes or subsidies to correct private incentives.
We show that issuing a deposit-like central bank digital currency (CBDC) with a proper interest rate would encourage banks to pay higher interest to keep their customers. Banks would then attract more deposits and offer more loans. Hence, a CBDC would not necessarily crowd out private banking.
This paper studies dynamic general equilibrium models where firms trade capital in frictional markets. Gains from trade arise due to ex ante heterogeneity: some firms are better at investment, so they build capital in the primary market; others acquire it in the secondary market.
This paper considers an economy where central-bank-issued fiat money competes with privately issued e-money. We study a policy-setting game between the central bank and the e-money issuer and find (1) the optimal monetary policy of the central bank depends on the policy of the private issuer and may deviate from the Friedman rule; (2) multiple equilibria may exist; (3) when the economy approaches a cashless state, the central bank’s optimal policy improves the market power of the e-money issuer and can lead to a discrete decrease in welfare and a discrete increase in inflation; and (4) first best cannot be achieved.