A top U.S. Federal Reserve official said that the central bank is accelerating the development of a plan for the issuance of a digitized version of the American dollar. She also indicated that the United States is joining a mounting movement among some significant economic powers to reconsider how the money will exchange in the future.
America wouldn’t be the first nation that plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC); in this game, China is taking a leading role. However, in general, the significance of the dollar to international trade and the global economy makes the interest of the Fed in the project especially expressive for the acceptance and development of what would amount to a form of digital currency.
Is paper money going away? US and China, two economic superpowers are planning for digital dollar and digital yuan.
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) June 4, 2021
Supporters of central bank digital currency point to a future in which electronic payments between businesses and individuals could be permanent and sudden, with no need for a bank to serve as an intermediate, and in which even people with no access to a bank account could have the option to receive secure electronic payments.
However, critics express several concerns, including worries regarding privacy, mentioning that the system could give the central governmental access to transactions that citizens would prefer to make private. In the same way, there are some economic concerns, like the possibility that a digital dollar circulating spontaneously across the world and disrupt the state currencies of the central banks of smaller countries.
China is Leading the Way on Digitized Version of Currency
Either it is a good thing or not, the possibility of federal governments issuing digital versions of their own currencies is gaining grip across the world, with the People’s Republic of China leading the game on a digitized version of yuan that is already in some currency circulation.
A senior executive with Accenture, David Treat, who leads the consulting efforts of the firm in the digital currencies area, said that his firm worked with several central banks in G-20 nations, and according to his estimation, a quarter of them will have some type of digital currency in circulation by 2024. With a predictable part of the financial future of the world, there are some pros and cons of the latest technology that applied to the most extensively used currency of the world.
Normally digital transactions might seem instant, and there is a gigantic web of digital infrastructure behind even a simple Venmo currency transfer, requiring various exchanges of information between financial services provider companies confirming that the individual making the payment has the resources to cover it, as well as the beneficiary equipped to receive it. But any sort of failure in any part of the system can result in late payment confirmation.
Treat said that by contrast, an American digital currency would work like cash, in that all the data needed to authenticate that a transaction occurred exists within the token stored in a digital wallet. Afterward, the information encoded in the token itself, making the info a permanent token element. So, two people having digital wallets on their smartphones could theoretically exchange U.S. digital currency for services and goods without an internet connection, so on condition that the devices were able to connect through now universal nearby field communications technology.
Unlike other digital currencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, an American digital dollar would be worth equal to one U.S. dollar. The Federal Reserve backed the digital token by the owner. Moreover, Treat says that there is no question as to its value. Whether the dollar in your bank account, the dollar in your wallet, or the federal bank digital currency version of $1 in your digital wallet, all carries equal worth of $1.
A trustworthy digital U.S. dollar might use across the globe in both domestic and cross-border transactions. A director of the Digital Dollar Project, Daniel Gorfine, said that one of the main benefits of central bank digital currency that it will reduce costs and resistance in cross-border exchange.
Furthermore, it is important that America play a headship role in establishing and executing international standards across CBDC to foster this possibility. With the spread of smartphones in even some of the poorest countries globally, CBDC could bring many individuals across the globe into the digital economy.
Privacy Concerns of Digital U.S. Dollar
The concept that the Federal Reserve would control and run a system that follows several untold financial transactions from the private citizens raises concerns among privacy advocates. Many of them point their concerns to the digital yuan system of China, in which the Chinese government sees access to the transaction information as an explicit feature.
Instead, supporters of CBDC, such as Treat, say that the Fed’s operation of the system should observe as a positive point to privacy advocates because the federal bank would bound by the ban of the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution on the unreasonable search and confiscation of personal information.