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European Central Bank Digital Currencies: Lessons from Central Bank Experiments and Scenario Analysis
Pramod Kumar, Kumar Chandrakamal ; Dědek, Oldřich (advisor) ; Havránek, Tomáš (referee) ; Ramesh, Sangaralingam (referee)
The dramatic increase in popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has motivated central banks to research central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The key central bank R-CBDC experiments are reviewed. It is found that central banks of advanced economies like the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank are relatively less motivated to issue R-CBDC. This is because current retail payment systems and settlements are already fast and efficient and the advantages of R-CBDC may not be as large as initially expected. Financial inclusion and need for traceable payment systems is less attractive in advanced economies and central banks would lose credibility if CBDC were implemented unsuccessfully. A scenario analysis is used to explore the implications of R-CBDC on financial stability and monetary policy. The results show that CBDC implementation in all scenarios is expected to positively impact financial stability and monetary policy. Results from the scenario analysis are more optimistic than the literature and urges central banks to continue their research. Finally, it is found that ECB's ability to issue CBDC is uncertain. The risks to traditional monetary policy tools and banking system should encourage both to become more efficient and focus on the needs of users.