The COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the demand for cash. Cash in circulation increased sharply from March through December 2020, particularly in the early months of this period. Although use of electronic methods of payment also increased significantly, cash use for payments remains high for low-value transactions and among certain demographic groups.
We discuss the competition and innovation arguments for issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). A CBDC could be an effective competition policy tool for payments. A CBDC could also support the vibrancy of the digital economy. It could help solve market failures and foster competition and innovation in new digital payments markets.
The physical network of bank branches is important in how consumers manage their cash holdings. This paper estimates how consumer withdrawal behaviour responds to the distance they must travel to their branch.
Adequate cash distribution is one the Bank of Canada’s core interests. Canadians’ ability to access cash influences the Bank’s thinking on issuing a central bank digital currency. We provide a perspective on these issues by exploring access of First Nations reserves to cash.
This paper studies the business model choice between running a cash platform and a token platform, as well as its welfare and policy implications.
We offer relevant authorities a three-step assessment framework they can use to understand, identify and quantify the risks associated with stablecoin and other cryptocurrency arrangements.
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.
Using Bank Note Distribution System data on the demand for cash up to September 2020, we find that demand was strong. This is true even though cash use for payments declined early in the pandemic. When mobility restrictions and lockdown measures were eased, cash use for payments increased sharply but remained less popular than electronic methods of payment.
We demonstrate the ability of reinforcement learning techniques to estimate the best-response functions of banks participating in high-value payments systems—a real-world strategic game of incomplete information.
Digital currencies store balances in anonymous electronic addresses. This paper analyzes the trade-offs between the safety and convenience of aggregating balances in addresses, electronic wallets and banks.