This weekend, the world’s central bankers descended on a small town in Wyoming, Jackson Hole, to talk policy — monetary policy.
While the conversations were centered around fiat monies, crypto — or “digital assets” at least — became a topic of discussion when the Bank of England’s governor brought up the matter.
It’s crazy to think that a mere ten years after Bitcoin was birthed, some of the most powerful individuals on Earth are seriously discussing cryptocurrency.
The World Needs a Global Cryptocurrency: Carney
Speaking in front of a group of central bankers on Friday at the Economic Policy Symposium, Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England, took some time to discuss the future of finance.
He argued that the world is in need of an entirely new monetary and financial system, citing his sentiment that the U.S. Dollar-based system that exists today is somewhat archaic. In fact, Reuters reports that Carney said the USD is currently playing a “destabilizing” role in the world economy, citing the effects of globalization and trade spats.
He added that with the dollar being the de-facto reserve asset of the world, with USD being a primary settlement tool for international trade and central banks hoarding the currency, “developments in the U.S. economy, by affecting the dollar exchange rate, can have large spillover effects to the rest of the world.”
Carney then brought up potential alternatives to the USD, namely a “synthetic hegemonic currency” that would exist through a digital asset model. He claims that such a crypto asset would decrease the dollar’s dominance, as it would be backed by multiple fiat currencies and accepted by global partners.
Talk around such a currency naturally led the Bank of England chief to Libra, which he claims is an “intriguing” concept. Carney asserted that Libra likely doesn’t have the potential to succeed, citing regulatory concerns.
Indeed, ever since the project was formally unveiled in June, governments the world over have been scrutinizing the product, claiming that it will propagate crime and global financial instability should it launch. And, of course, members of the Libra Association are looking to pull out of their agreement with Facebook.
A Boon for Bitcoin
Many believe that a global cryptocurrency — be it Libra or something less corporate — will only be a boon for the adoption and price of Bitcoin. Raoul Pal, the former head of Goldman Sachs’s hedge funds sales division and the chief executive of Real Vision, the implementation of a new monetary system is likely to be a boon for Bitcoin.
Something I have been talking about. It won’t be Libra, but it will be similar (and yes, it’s good for bitcoin and gold). I talked at length on the @HiddenForcesPod podcast about my views on this, https://t.co/VxCM1VCiUN
— Raoul Pal (@RaoulGMI) August 23, 2019
In a sub-tweet, Pal further explained his thoughts, responding “exactly” to a comment claiming that a widely-adopted fiat digital asset will act as an on-ramp for the cryptocurrency market. Indeed, the wide adoption of a digital form of money will acclimate society to transition to Bitcoin and decentralized solutions, especially if governments are encroaching on the privacy and safety of citizens.
CBDCs On Their Way
While there is a talk about a global fiat cryptocurrency, many nations have been going ahead with plans to digitize their local sovereign monies. Just recently, an official of the People’s Bank of China revealed to a group of Chinese bankers and economic pundits that it is prepared to launch a digital currency that is based on a blockchain-like system. While the official didn’t give a concrete date, China is likely aiming to make its digital currency available before Libra goes live.