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Digital currencies May 26, 2020

Going deeper: Central Bank Digital Currencies and how best to design them to benefit everyone


gtc photo of currencies

Corina DuBois, Author regarding a video discussion with Lisa Pollina, Gabriel Abed, George Bachiashvili, Shane Glynn, Aditi Kumar, and Michael Greenwald on digital dollar as a potential tool in the economic growth and sustainability for a global society.

Our increasingly connected world requires new approaches to respond to emergent global concerns that challenge us all.

On May 19, 2020 – Lisa Pollina, Gabriel Abed, George Bachiashvili, Shane Glynn, Aditi Kuma shared perspectives on “The digital dollar: Do we need it and how do we build it?” as part of a live video discussion moderated by Michael Greenwald. The discussion focused what exactly is a digital dollar? How would it work, how could it best be designed, and who would manage it?

This 1-hour live discussion focused on Central Bank Digital Currencies and how they might be designed, implemented, and benefit societies. The panelists discussed what are the benefits and drawbacks? And how does it compare with other countries, including China, are doing on CBDCs? This was the first of what will be several collaborations between the Global Business & Economics Program and GeoTech Center at the Atlantic Council.

Additional details:

CBDCs are a new frontier for payments infrastructure and central banks. Their geopolitical ramifications cannot be underestimated. CBDCs pave the path for circumventing sanctions, forming new alliances, and establishing norms around identity, privacy, innovation, and cybersecurity. The nascent technology, however, is being explored by many countries without a guiding voice on how to ensure prosperity for its end user: the individual. The United States has historically served as the leading nation on global payments guiding both policy and innovation. The country must once again step into the limelight and take on a leading role.

Given the geopolitical implications and current US involvement, world leaders in the private and public sectors will need to:

  • Explicitly define international values for a digital payments ecosystem that protects users and ensures financial stability
  • Establish cross-border collaboration across central banks and government agencies on CBDC design, and bring in other countries currently not exploring CBDCs
  • Craft clear policies and regulations that delineate the role of private sector and public sector innovation in payments systems
  • Explore public-private partnerships to coordinate innovation and ensure that advancements support central bank efforts to manage the monetary system
  • Raise the voices of historically marginalized, underserved, and unbanked communities to ensure that new payment designs promote financial inclusion

The development of CBDCs tasks nations and companies to reimagine money in a more equitable and efficient model. Clear voices will be needed to offer common values for the world to coalesce around as the payments system is remade. Global prosperity depends on it.

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Be Benevolent,
Be Bold, and
Be Brave in our challenging times. 

We all can lead. Positive “change agents” — individuals willing to work across sectors and nations to help illuminate better ways through the shared turbulence we are experiencing — are needed now more than ever. We hope you’ll join the good fight against the COVID-19 disruptions alongside us.

The GeoTech Center champions positive paths forward that societies can pursue to ensure new technologies and data empower people, prosperity, and peace.

Related Experts: Bob Gourley