Central Bank Digital Currencies and the future of payments - Opinion Piece
The recent article “CBDCs are set to transform how payments are made” written by Ousmène Jacques Mandeng and his thoughts about how the development of digital currencies is gathering pace around the world caught the attention of XEROF’s COO Marc Taverner. Please take your time, and read the article and professional opinion piece by Marc on that topic.
In the 19th century England, the introduction of paper banknotes created controversy as they were deemed a threat to the monetary order. Well, fast forward a few hundred years, and very few people carry gold bars or silver coins around to settle transactions. It's just not convenient nor practical. And that 'controversial' invention, paper money, eventually took off, driven by utility. What a shock!!
More recently, the pandemic and lockdowns drove enforced digitization which helped to accelerate the adoption of digital payments and decelerate the use of cash. Even the quaint English phrase 'spend a penny', meaning using a coin to pay for a visit to the restroom, has now been digitized into a 'tap & go' experience (enjoy the pun). Cash is seldom used, especially by younger generations, even to pay for public restrooms.
So what about innovation to respond to this generational change? Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are gathering pace with traditional finance actors and observers eagerly waiting for the 'greatest innovation since the adoption of paper money'. Yes, tests are being conducted and research being undertaken, but it's hardly high-speed innovation and has more in common with 19th-century England than a modern 21st-century world. Though I immensely enjoyed reading the article from Ousmène Jacques Mandeng, it left me deflated.
I love the promise of frictionless cross-border payments, digital payments for a digital age, almost instant settlements and the preservation of privacy as an irrevocable standard & NOT an option. But I don't see why as customers, we should wait for a decade or perhaps a century to enjoy these innovations.
That's just too slow.
Great projects, including #Bitcoin and Circle with the wonderful team that include Dante A. Disparte & Teana Baker-Taylor have shown what's possible. In a relatively short time, these and many other projects have attracted millions of customers and users because of utility and demand. That's innovation. It's more than papering over a crack. It's a fundamental step change. And yes, it brings controversy. All change does, mainly from those with the most to lose.
If you're also deflated by friction. If you're not ready to wait. If you want a trusted, transparent and professional partner as a bridge between crypto and fiat, we'd love to chat.
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