New Forms of Digital Money: A Conversation between Agustin Carstens & Kristalina Georgieva

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New forms of digital money and assets are advancing fast, together with the digitalization of our economies. But there are different kinds of digital means of holding and transferring value, set on a wide spectrum of risks and benefits. Join Kristalina Georgieva (IMF) and Agustín Carstens (BIS) in a discussion about how these institutions are actively engaging with their membership in policy and standard setting to ensure that countries can reap the benefits of digitalization in a sustainable fashion.
 

Speakers

Kristalina Georgieva

Managing Director, IMF

Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the first person from an emerging market economy to lead the IMF since its inception in 1944. Before joining the Fund, Ms. Georgieva was Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank and also served as Interim President for a time. Previously, she served at the European Commission as Vice President for Budget and Human Resources – and as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. She was named “European of the Year” and “Commissioner of the Year” by European Voice for her leadership in the European Union’s humanitarian response to crises.

Augustin Carstens

General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements

Mr. Carstens was Governor of the Bank of Mexico from 2010 to 2017. A member of the BIS Board from 2011 to 2017, he was chair of the Global Economy Meeting and the Economic Consultative Council from 2013 until 2017. He also chaired the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the IMF's policy advisory committee from 2015 to 2017. Mr Carstens began his career in 1980 at the Bank of Mexico. From 1999 to 2000, he was Executive Director at the IMF. He later served as Mexico’s deputy finance minister (2000–03) and as Deputy Managing Director at the IMF (2003–06). He was Mexico's finance minister from 2006 to 2009. Mr Carstens has been a member of the Financial Stability Board since 2010 and is a member of the Group of Thirty. Mr Carstens holds an MA and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.

Seminar report

Digital money is evolving fast with some new forms emerging. The discussants focused on the issues confronting policymakers on digital money.

Key Points:

  • Public-private partnership. Georgieva recognized that with new forms of digital money, the public-private partnership could continue to serve users well with private sector providing innovation and services; and the public sector making sure the system works efficiently, effectively, and fairly. Georgieva emphasized the importance of maintaining the role of the private sector, avoiding disintermediation, and enhancing interoperability in the issuance of CBDCs. Carstens agreed that innovations by the private sector are valuable to advance the work on central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
  • Prospects of CBDCs. Carstens noted that it is impossible for private money to replicate the characteristics of central bank money which could act as a digital version of cash and thus deepen financial inclusion and improve cross-border payments.
  • Role of crypto assets in the war in Ukraine. Georgieva noted that crypto assets are used to provide support and humanitarian aid to Ukraine from across the world, albeit crypto donations represent a miniscule percentage of total aid provided. Carstens indicated that a CBDC could have been a potentially better alternative. Georgieva noted there is no strong evidence that suggests crypto assets are an effective tool to avoid sanctions.
  • Policy priorities. Georgieva called for a more careful regulation of crypto assets and emphasized the importance of homogenized regulations and policies across countries. To maintain sovereignty of a currency, Carstens noted the importance of avoiding “cryptoization” and recommended that central banks ensure that people trust digital money and CBDCs too.

Contributor: Bo Zhao

 

 

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