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Article

The Future of Money and the Central Bank Digital Currency Dilemma

by 1,2,†, 3,*,† and 4,†
1
Doctoral School, Catholic University of Murcia, 30001 Muricia, Spain
2
Bank of Spain, 28014 Madrid, Spain
3
Economics and Business Department, Catholic University of Valencia, 46001 Valencia, Spain
4
Faculty of Business and Law, Catholic University of Murcia, 30001 Muricia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9697; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229697
Received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 17 November 2020 / Accepted: 18 November 2020 / Published: 20 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Practices and Corporate Financial Performance)
In this paper we set out a three-pillar monetary-financial framework to (i) analyze, categorize and compare past, current and emerging means of payment; to (ii) capture their creation and destruction processes through sectoral balance sheet dynamics; and to (iii) identify the inherent risks to the current monetary-financial system, also known as the fractional reserve banking system. These risks, which stem from sudden shifts in money demand and supply, are as follows: (I) risk of a cashless society; (II) risk of structural bank disintermediation; (III) risk of systemic bank runs; (IV) risk of currency substitution; and (V) risk of economic and financial bubbles. This framework will guide the assessment of the central bank digital currencies (CBDC), which are considered as the next step in monetary evolution. We will analyze two large groups of CBDC proposals: (i) proposals aimed at complementing cash and bank deposits; and (ii) proposals aimed at replacing all bank deposits with CBDCs. We find that once CBDCs are issued in both sets of proposals, there is always a trade-off between low levels of (I), (IV), (V), risks and high levels of (II) risk. This trade-off could also be defined as the CBDC dilemma, which states that in most CBDC proposals it is impossible to have both of the following at the same time: (1) low levels of (I), (IV) and (V) risks; and (2) low levels of (II) risk. Finally, we suggest that further research on CBDCs should focus on the second group of proposals on a phase-in basis in order to also mitigate the structural bank disintermediation risk and hence to overcome the CBDC dilemma. View Full-Text
Keywords: CBDC; structural bank disintermediation; money creation; fractional reserve banking; full reserve banking CBDC; structural bank disintermediation; money creation; fractional reserve banking; full reserve banking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Viñuela, C.; Sapena, J.; Wandosell, G. The Future of Money and the Central Bank Digital Currency Dilemma. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9697. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229697

AMA Style

Viñuela C, Sapena J, Wandosell G. The Future of Money and the Central Bank Digital Currency Dilemma. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9697. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229697

Chicago/Turabian Style

Viñuela, Carlos, Juan Sapena, and Gonzalo Wandosell. 2020. "The Future of Money and the Central Bank Digital Currency Dilemma" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9697. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229697

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