The future of money and payments

Speech by Mr Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, at the Central Bank of Ireland, 2019 Whitaker Lecture, Dublin, 22 March 2019.

BIS speech  | 
22 March 2019

The bitcoin hype is over but attempts to create new forms of money or to engineer new ways to pay still appear almost weekly. Central banks have entered the fray, with about 70 percent either exploring or experimenting with so-called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). A CBDC would allow ordinary people and businesses to make payments electronically using money issued by the central bank. But what are the consequences of such a system? How would it differ from what we have now? As money and payments form the backbone of the financial system, central banks need to understand the full consequences of opening up the monetary system for major surgery. Hence, central banks are treading cautiously, and only a very few central banks think it is likely that they will issue a CBDC.