There are many ways you could describe central banks and central bankers. Our guess is that ‘cool’ may not be first word that comes to mind. Stuck between M0, M1, M2, M3 and money multipliers, they may not be everyone’s favorite conversation companions. This year, in particular, they’ve been hard at work trying to save a Covid-ravaged global economy.
But tucked away in a corner at these central banks is a body of interesting work on central bank digital currencies. The talk of such digital coins issued by central banks—in contrast to private virtual currencies like Bitcoin—has been around for some time. But work on these projects has picked up considerable pace against the backdrop of a Covid-driven surge in the adoption of digital transactions.
Last week, the Bank of International Settlements, together with seven large central banks, issued a primer of sorts…