Axess Think Tank, a Geneva-based think tank organized a great event focused on four themes
- The future of money
- The Regulatory landscape
- ICO-STO and Capital markets
- Blockchain and the Token economy
I had the pleasure of moderating the last two panels.
One of the takeaways from the entire event was around the issues of cryptocurrencies issued from Central Banks or some such.
When you have a board member of the SNB Andrea Maechler, a senior research advisor to the BOE Michael Kumhof, a research fellow of the Fed St. Louis & Professor at univ. of Basel Aleksander Berentsen, a research fellow of the UCL Center for Blockchain Technology Daniel Heller; there is a lot to absorb from their talks and panel discussions. Add to that the moderator Michel Girardin, from the Univ of Geneva and Jean-Pierre Roth, the ex-Governor of SNB, in the audience.
They agreed that payments are the very heart of any economy and that we live in a world that customers expect payments to be like WhatsApp messages.
The SNB is actually following the innovations around payments, whether Fintech or Bitcoin originated. Andrea Maechler, emphasized that the SNB`s mandate is to support and promote cashless payments and this done through SIX. Fintechs that hold a FINMA payment license will be granted access to the SIX system.
Regarding CBDC`s they have concluded that it is not a tech issue but rather a policy issue. The SNB believes that while there are advantages, the main disadvantages, make CBDCs a no-no for the SNB. They see that a CBDC would increase the risk of bank run and would make monetary policy ineffective when it is actually mostly needed.
This is where Aleksander Bernesten actually stepped up and provoked the thinking. He firmly believes that Central Bank electronic money would increase financial stability. Give access directly to the CB to all.
His motto is that:
The Censorship resistant attribute of Bitcoin, is priceless!
He makes things simple by focusing on this attribute. Since there is no free lunch, we have to choose between
A Censorship resistant database which is inefficient and slow
An efficient and fast centralized database which is not censorship resistant
He thinks that a central bank decentralized currency has no meaning at all. Forget about a Fedcoin type of idea. However, he proposes that Central banks issue electronic money for all! So instead of having the authorized commercial banks exclusively access directly the CB, we should all have direct access to the Central Bank. Forget about the RTGS system.
For those that want to understand more details read The Case for Central Bank Electronic Money and the Non-case for Central Bank Cryptocurrencies
Note: By joining Axess think tank you can access the video recordings of this high quality and more. Check it out here.
Don’t forget that currently
MONEY is a claim on the Central Bank or a commercial bank! Will this change? How and when? he Why has been answered: For a Censorship resistance monetary system.
— Efi Pylarinou
 Central Bank Digital Currency