What is a CBDC?

What is a CBDC?

  • mdo  Admin
  •   Articles
  •   August 10, 2021

Central Bank Digital Currency or CBDC is a digital form of fiat currency issued by a central bank. It is a form of digital money, digital legal tender, or digital currency. Not to be confused with typical cryptocurrencies, a CBDC complements the use of cash and bank deposits rather than replacing them. It does not cost anything for a consumer to use the CBDC. It interoperates with the existing financial infrastructure. It provides safe money accounts at the central banks that will be a strong instrument of financial inclusion with the convenience of a smartphone app. A great primer on Central Bank Digital Currencies is by the Bank of Jamaica.

Many countries around the world are investigating and considering implementing CBDCs, have a look at this interactive map of programs around the world: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/cbdctracker/One country that is doing CBDC right is Jamaica.

Read more about details on the Jamaica CBDC.

What are some positive implications of a CBDC?

Digital Economic Inclusion: Any legal resident or citizen that has access to a smartphone can be provided with a free basic bank account and access their funds at any time. They can then shop locally and send money to friends and family with the ease of a smartphone app. The CBDC is a "digital fiat currency bearer instrument", it is energy efficient and environmentally green, it is storeable and accessible online and offline, open and interoperable with existing financial ecosystems, and is traceable​ while maintaining privacy. "The value of currency within a sovereign country or a monetary union is established primarily by the level of trust in that country and the strength of the underlying economy. It is established in effect by an edict, a word, a fiat of a central authority within a country or a monetary union. CBDC must replicate these characteristics if it truly is to be a central bank currency." (eCurrency)

Why should a CBDC not be a typical cryptocurrency?

DIGICEN advocates against the use of cryptocurrencies for a variety of reasons, you can read the list of reasons here: https://digicen.org/15-reasons-cryptocurrencies-should-be-avoided, and instead advocates for Central Bank Digital Currencies. Read this article about how Blockchain is the wrong technology choice for CBDCs.

Read more here: Is cryptocurrency a good investment?

Why is financial inclusion through CBDCs important?

Economic Inclusion is the idea that everyone can participate in the economy making for a robust economy. Before someone has the opportunity to purchase a smartphone or internet-enabled device and other basic necessities they require the income necessary to do so. Income can be obtained through jobs and/or via cash-transfer programs such as a Basic Income policy, a tax credit policy (like the CTC), and with the help of tools such as a CBDC.

Why advocate for a CBDC in your country?

Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the economy, and they should be able to benefit from any existing and future government programs that can be delivered through the CBDC. DIGICEN works to encourage the Innovation Cycle of Digital Economic Inclusion. In order for the cycle to continue, DIGICEN advocates to make sure that everyone has the necessary tools: a foundational income floor such as a Universal Basic Income (UBI); access to internet-enabled devices and apps (Universal Access); freedom to use CBDCs; and access to democracy technology. DIGICEN will work with local innovation centers and libraries to provide Digital Literacy programs that emphasize Digital Economic Inclusion using internet-enabled devices and apps, this is why internet access / digital inclusion is critical.

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