CBDC: A new form of money with more functions


Alan Foster

Aug 22, 2021

CBDC is an innovation in both the monetary form it provides to the public and the payment infrastructure it constructs. At present, the public can only hold paper money issued by banks, and only commercial banks and some financial institutions can hold electronic money issued by the Bank of England, which is limited to real-time gross settlement (RTGS) services in the form of reserves. Unlike paper money, CBDC is electronic, and different from reserves, CBDC will be available to households and businesses.

Although the term CBDC has the meaning of "digital currency", CBDC is fundamentally different from cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are privately issued without any official support. They are not recognized as currencies and cannot perform the basic functions of currency. In contrast, CBDC will be a new risk-free currency issued by the Bank of England, which can perform all the basic functions of currency. When launched in the UK, the CBDC will be priced in sterling like paper money. A £ 10 CBDC has the same value as a £ 10 paper money. Therefore, CBDC can be said to be a new form of money, which coexists with cash and bank deposits rather than replacing them. According to different designs, CBDC will have more functions.

CBDC was born to meet the needs of the Bank of England to maintain monetary and financial stability, and its design will closely around this principle. The Bank of England believes that although CBDC brings many opportunities, it may also bring significant challenges to maintaining monetary and financial stability. CBDC is closely related to the development of banks. If you want to introduce CBDC, you need to design it very carefully. At present, the Bank of England has not decided whether to introduce CBDC. It needs to seriously and promptly consider these issues together with the government.


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