Jan Smets: Central banks and money - an everchanging interplay

Keynote address by Mr Jan Smets, Governor of the National Bank of Belgium, at the Colloquium AEDBF Europe, Brussels, 30 November 2018.

Central bank speech  | 
30 November 2018
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Ladies and gentlemen

It is my great pleasure to welcome you today in the premises of the National Bank of Belgium and to have the opportunity to address this interesting colloquium on the vast topic of money and currencies.

Money is subject to a constant evolution and central banks must carefully take these evolutions into account when conducting the tasks they are entrusted with. The issuance of euro banknotes is one of the best known and most visible activities of the Eurosystem central banks1 but, as will become clear hereafter, it is by no means the most important of their tasks. Instead, central banks will take a broad interest in the many different appearances and functions of money. Evolutions like the rise of local currencies or the emergence of digital money such as privately issued cryptocurrencies will certainly not go unnoticed.