Bitcoin
BTC$20 345.66

0.68%

Ethereum
ETH$1 374.40

1.37%

Tether
USDT$1.000121

-0.01%

Binance Coin
BNB$296.73

0.69%

USD Coin
USDC$0.999979

0%

XRP
XRP$0.495963

4.48%

Central banks fashionably late to the party


05 Apr 2021

#Bitcoin

The last 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride for digital currencies and their holders. Countless millionaires have been made, and these once-niche instruments have finally been welcomed into the fold by institutional investors. Understandably, the spotlight has been firmly focused on legacy assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. But beyond the explosive growth of these well-known coins, there are even more momentous developments taking place in the crypto space. As demand for digital assets skyrockets from Wall Street to Main Street, global central banks are now looking to get in on the action, too.

There has been serious talk of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) for nearly 3 years now, and virtually all of the world’s major regulators had been working towards launching their own versions with varying levels of zeal. Then came COVID-19, prompting a rapid acceleration of implementation efforts.

Unsurprisingly, China is by far the most advanced CBDC project at present, having already run real-life tests of a range of digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) solutions in 2020. But China is not alone; early 2020 also saw the establishment of a cross-border working group representing five global reserve currencies (CAD, EUR, JPY, CHF and GBP) plus SEK.

US vs them

Not to be outdone by his counterparts around the world, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made some uncharacteristically revealing comments about the United States’ CBDC project at a recent Congressional hearing. Powell went as far as to confirm that the Fed would aim to engage with the public on the digital dollar this year (2021), adding that it was up to Congress to give the US regulator the “legislative authorisation” for the project. The Fed chair made clear that the new CBDC would not be used to manipulate markets, underscoring the need to take great care with the design of the digital dollar to ensure that it doesn’t undermine the healthy functioning of the US financial system.

Everyone’s a winner

We have to face the facts that the call for digital alternatives to traditional fiat currencies is only likely to grow louder in the future as millennials and Gen Z begin to edge out older generations. The writing is on the wall: younger financial actors — with their ingrained culture of instant gratification — are simply not willing to wait several days for a payment to clear. What’s more, it gives disadvantaged, unbanked persons easier and safer access to money and can help fight the illegal activity that often goes hand in hand with digital currencies.

But it isn’t just consumers who stand to benefit. As the IMF reports, the cost of managing and transferring cash is high, and CBDC technology can slash expenses while also accelerating the implementation of central bank monetary policy.

Getting ahead of the competition

Whatever we might think, central banks and sovereign issuers are not a total monopoly. Indeed, payment systems’ inefficiencies have prompted the rise of numerous fintech/BaaS providers such as Square and Adyen to fill the void left by existing infrastructure. Moreover, CBDCs themselves already have competition in privately issued stablecoins like Tether and potentially Libra. As Fed Governor Lael Brainard put it: “the introduction of Bitcoin and the subsequent emergence of stablecoins with potentially global reach have raised fundamental questions about legal and regulatory safeguards, financial stability, and the role of currency in society”.

As such, these latest CBDC policy initiatives are absolutely necessary if central banks are to retain control over their own currencies in the crypto age.

Rebadged fiat or something new?

The only question that remains is whether these new currencies will be backed by anything. It’s plain to see that people’s confidence in fiat is waning as more and more wonder how long ever-lower interest rates and MMT can hold out. Many analysts have touted Bitcoin as a potential new “digital gold standard” for the global financial system of tomorrow. If this is true, we would need to see another massive increase in BTC’s value that would dwarf the booms of 2018 and 2020. Nobody knows what will ultimately come to pass, but one thing’s for sure: if Bitcoin is to become the global reserve, we could be in for a 10, 20 or even 30x moonshot in the years ahead!


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Top Cryptocurrencies with Price Predictions

# Crypto Prediction Accuracy CVIX Price 24h 7d Market Cap 7d price change
1 Bitcoin (BTC) BTC Bitcoin predictions 87.2% 21 $20 345.66 0.68% 4.63% $390 038 684 495 BTC 7 days price change
2 Ethereum (ETH) ETH Ethereum predictions 65.6% 78 $1 374.40 1.37% 2.72% $168 598 361 729 ETH 7 days price change
3 Tether (USDT) USDT Tether predictions 94% 1 $1.000121 -0.01% 0.01% $68 220 841 049 USDT 7 days price change
4 Binance Coin (BNB) BNB Binance Coin predictions 82.8% 21 $296.73 0.69% 4.71% $47 874 262 742 BNB 7 days price change
5 USD Coin (USDC) USDC USD Coin predictions 92.8% 1 $0.999979 0% 0% $46 433 140 192 USDC 7 days price change
6 XRP (XRP) XRP XRP predictions 61.6% 85 $0.495963 4.48% 12.27% $24 728 013 610 XRP 7 days price change
7 Binance USD (BUSD) BUSD Binance USD predictions 91.2% 1 $1.000423 0.08% 0.06% $21 051 132 248 BUSD 7 days price change
8 Cardano (ADA) ADA Cardano predictions 74.8% 42 $0.435548 0.53% 0.07% $14 921 259 274 ADA 7 days price change
9 Solana (SOL) SOL Solana predictions 88.4% 21 $34.35 0.55% 2.13% $12 202 401 025 SOL 7 days price change
10 Lido stETH (STETH) STETH Lido stETH predictions 94.8% 1 $2 941.39 -0.40% -3.32% $10 258 752 564 STETH 7 days price change
11 Dogecoin (DOGE) DOGE Dogecoin predictions 83.2% 21 $0.065040 0.21% 7.22% $8 628 855 287 DOGE 7 days price change
12 Polygon (MATIC) MATIC Polygon predictions 72% 56 $0.849285 1.08% 13.76% $7 417 926 072 MATIC 7 days price change
13 Polkadot (DOT) DOT Polkadot predictions 70% 59 $6.51 0.99% 1.37% $7 310 822 407 DOT 7 days price change
14 Dai (DAI) DAI Dai predictions 94.4% 1 $1.000258 0.05% 0.05% $6 791 926 054 DAI 7 days price change
15 Wrapped TRON (WTRX) WTRX Wrapped TRON predictions 91.2% 5 $0.062654 0.54% 4.96% $6 370 364 994 WTRX 7 days price change

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