No need for national digital dollars: RBA

No need for national digital dollars: RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia and a global investment bank say the speed of payments innovation will fend off any threat from cryptocurrencies, and creating digitised versions of central bank money will make bank runs much more likely during a crisis.

After last year’s speculative bitcoin bubble, the potential for the Australian central bank to issue digital dollars to allow money to move through distributed ledgers is fading.

RBA assistant governor Michelle Bullock told a global audience at Sibos that while it’s still open to considering wholesale applications for a digital Australian dollar, it hasn’t yet been convinced of the need to create one, and the RBA does not want one for domestic use.

“The system works well and you don’t actually need access to direct settlement to do lots and lots of business,” she told the event in Sydney.

The RBA, like other central banks around the world, has been pressured by fintechs to open up its payment infrastructure by making the real-time gross settlement system more accessible.

Some fintechs want to be able to move real money over industry-specific distributed ledgers, which would allow for atomic settlement.


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