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Bank of Japan explores central bank digital currencies in new report

Photo: ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Thu, 21 Feb 2019, 06:43 am UTC

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has published a new report that looks into the concept of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The report, titled “Digital Innovation, Data Revolution and Central Bank Digital Currency,” states that CBDCs can be categorized into two types – one, used by general public in place of bank notes, and the other for large-value settlements, which are based on central bank deposits and adopt new technologies such as distributed ledger technology (DLT).

“This paper will focus mainly on CBDC in the former ((a)) category [CBDCs used by general public] and their relevant issues, unless otherwise noted,” the report states.

The report further examines the impact of CBDCs on banks’ credit intermediation, liquidity crises, and monetary policy.

“The designing of CBDCs will influence various aspects of financial structure and the economy, such as banks’ fund intermediation and the transmission mechanism of monetary policy. The magnitude of impacts of CBDCs on them may depend on country-specific factors, various frictions and complicated intercourses of them and it is extremely difficult to make quantitative assessment on it at this juncture,” it said.

The report also notes the ongoing CBDC-focused efforts going on in other countries including Sweden, Uruguay, and China.

Last year, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had said that central banks should start considering issuing digital currencies. In January 2019, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) completed the first phase of a project focused on domestic wholesale fund transfer using wholesale CBDC.

Earlier this month, researchers at the Bank of Korea (BoK) have published a study that looks into the effects of central bank digital currency (CBDC) issuance on financial stability.

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