CBDCs take centre stage in DC Fintech Week

20 Oct 2020

International leaders gathered together during DC Fintech Week for a digital conference focused on fintech for a panel entitled ‘Central Banks, CBDCs and Cryptoeconomics’.

The panel featured discussions between four different authorities on numerous aspects of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), as well as the global race towards a CBDC.

Cecilia Skingsley, First Deputy Governor of Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden was in attendance, along with BIS executive committee member Benoit Coeure, Bank of England deputy governor Jon Cunliffe, and former U.S. CFTC chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, reports Cointelegraph.

Skingsley said on the panel: "I don't see technological barriers in this area, but I do see technological challenges.
"The challenge is not so much technology in itself, but it's more about — we have to choose what sort of policy objectives do we want to focus on, what is the problem we want to solve. Depending on what that is, and the purposes we want to serve, then you choose the technology after that."
The Bank of England deputy governor explained how cash is a burdensome part of the economy: "Physical cash is no longer convenient. It's becoming increasingly inconvenient for people to use in their everyday lives, and the COVID crisis has accelerated that.
“On the other hand, it's becoming increasingly less acceptable to merchants for some of the same reasons, even merchants that are able to take physical cash."
Giancarlo highlighted the competitive nature surrounding the launch of a CBDC, stating that winning the race isn’t the most important point: "If there's a winner, I don't think the winner is necessarily who's first and the loser is necessarily who's last.
“What matters is, which central bank successfully incorporates its societal values in a successful development of CBDC. On the other hand, one can't be too late to the game here," he went on to add.
Referring to a report from the Bank for International Settlements from January this year, Coeure said that a significant number of central banks around the world consider CBDCs to be a meaningful research process. 
Indeed, China has surged forward this year with its CBDC development.