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Should the central bank issue e-money?

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  • Charles M. Kahn
  • Francisco Rivadeneyra
  • Tsz-Nga Wong

Abstract

Should a central bank take over the provision of e-money, a circulable electronic liability? We discuss how e-money technology changes the tradeoff between public and private provision, and the tradeoff between e-money and a central bank's existing liabilities like bank notes and reserves. The tradeoffs depend on i) the technological setup of the e-money system (as a token or an account; centralized or decentralized); ii) the potential improvement in the implementation and transmission of monetary policy; iii) the risks to safety and privacy from cyber attacks; and iv) the uncertain impact on banks' efficiency and financial stability. The most compelling argument for central banks to issue e-money is to address competition problems in the banking sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles M. Kahn & Francisco Rivadeneyra & Tsz-Nga Wong, 2019. "Should the central bank issue e-money?," Working Papers 2019-3, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2019-003
    DOI: doi.org/10.20955/wp.2019.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank digital currencies; e-money; cryptocurrencies; token- and account- based payment payments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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