On Friday, the International Monetary Fund published a new paper on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and their legal ramifications.
In the paper, researchers including IMF legal counsel Wouter Bossu and Catalina Margulis argue that current frameworks are inadequate for issuing public-facing CBDCs. The researchers are specifically concerned about how existing definitions of money can apply to such a new technology, however, hopefully, suggest the problem is simple enough to fix:
“The absence of an explicit and robust legal basis for the issuance of token-and/or account-based CBDC can be relatively easily remedied through targeted central bank law reform.”
The new paper also stated:
“The issuance of private digital tokens that resemble CBDC could give rise to very much the same problems, including a severely disrupted monetary system, caused in the 19th century by the issuance of banknotes by private banks that subsequently could not honor their obligations to convert those notes in real currency.”
In addition, the paper implies that re-configuring monetary law will be more challenging than reforming central bank law. The key questions of whether you can consider a token legal tender, as well as how you make sure it’s accepted across a population with varying access to technology, remain unanswered.
All of the central banks behind the five biggest global currencies, the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese yuan, the Japanese yen and the British pound, are looking into issuing CBDCs.
Of the largest economies in the world, China seems to be closest to issuing a CBDC.
This was reported by cointelegraph on Nov 20,2020.