I find myself comfortable with the fact that Central Bank Digital Currencies will be integral to the next evolution of financial technology. That next evolution is already underway, and is about the integration of financial services outside of the Financial Services industry itself. We’ve seen other industries and people’s lives transformed through digitalisation (shopping with Amazon, travelling with Uber, searching with Google). The evolution of payments will allow non-financial companies to embed truly digital services into their apps and websites, in turn making the experience and journey that bit easier, faster, cheaper or more tailor-made for the likes of you and me. CDBCs will be a key enabler for this journey.
If CBDCs do help businesses embed financial services at a deeper level than previously before, and if that then allows customers like you and me to do more for less in our busy everyday lives, this will only help increase the trust that we all have in CDBCs. And by increasing our collective trust in a digital proposition that simultaneously is controlled by the institutions in whom we already trust, in future this will only widen the gap between Cryptocurrency and Central Bank Digital Currency.
Avid crypto supporters and investors will no doubt disagree. But next time I’m asked my opinion on banks and cryptocurrency, I’ll probably have a more definitive answer:
Cryptocurrency? No chance! It’s all about CBDCs — Central Bank Digital Currency.
Eulogy made by Piers Marais