Big Shift toward Digital Currency Bank Reserves

A big portion of consumer deposits at retail banks could shift to digital currencies if governments start offering them, the Bank of England indicated in a discussion paper about the issue.

The U.K. central bank modeled the impact of introducing digital forms of money on the retail banking sector and in one scenario considered what would happen if a fifth of all deposits went digital. The BOE said any large-scale reallocation of cash may impact money markets.

The findings indicate the scope and complexity of issues emerging as central banks weigh modernizing the way cash and payments systems work. The BOE along with many of its peers is considering whether to introduce a digital currency that would smooth the way online payments work.

“We live in an increasingly digitalized world where the way we make payments and use money is changing rapidly,” BOE Governor Andrew Bailey said in a statement. “The prospect of stable coins as a means of payment and the emerging propositions of CBDC have generated a host of issues that central banks, governments, and society as a whole, need to carefully consider and address.”

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