After expressing a rather harsh attitude towards cryptocurrencies in the past years, Agustin Carstens – chief of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – has agreed that central banks will have to introduce their self-designed digital currencies.
During an interview with the Financial Times on June 30th, Carstens claimed that BIS – which can be considered a central bank for central banks – is onboard with the attempts, made by other central banks across the globe, to come up with their own digital currencies, on the foundation of their national fiat ones.
According to Carstens, several central banks are seriously looking into the matter, and BIS “ are working on it, supporting them”. Moreover, should the public demand grows extensively higher, such products will be rolled out sooner.
“[I]t might be that it is sooner than we think that there is a market and we need to be able to provide central bank digital currencies.”
The announcement from Carsten appeared shortly after the introduction of the new Facebook crypto project – Libra – which have been one of the biggest news recently and heavily drew attention from regulators all over the globe, since the idea of a multi-billion users social media giant releasing its own currency can be a big concern to the state currencies.
BIS has publicly listed Facebook’s name in its yearly report, and is worried that projects such as Libra can be a negative impact on the central banks’ ability to control funds.
“Regulators need to ensure a level playing field between big techs and banks, taking into account big techs’ wide customer base, access to information and broad-ranging business models.”