The Future of Money provides a sweeping landscape of how money is changing.
Paper money is an 800 year-old institution implemented by Kublai Khan grandson of Ghengis Khan, and founder of the Yuan Dynasty. After nearly a millennium, bills and coins’ time may be ebbing. Sweden projects the end of paper money, amongst its citizens by 2030. Today, 87% of Swedes never use cash for transactions.
What will replace paper money? In the future, central banks may mint Central Bank Digital Coins (CBDCs). Sweden has experimented with the eKronor, the Swedish CBDC, since 2020. The Swedes aren’t the only ones to pursue CBDCs. The Bahamas mints the Sand Dollar. China is developing the e-yuan. Ecuador, Uruguay, Tunisia, the US and others are experimenting or exploring CBDCs.
CBDCs may be the future of monetary policy, enabling governments to mint and destroy money through software. Imagine a reserve bank stimulating the electric bicycle industry in the Kansas City metropolitan area by providing residents new US dollars that are only valid within bike shops in Kansas City.
Digital dollars provide significantly more transparency to governments. Central bankers would swim through the most accurate ocean of economic data possible. Of course, more transparency risks increasing surveillance. Will citizens accept this trade? It’s a question that electorates and leaders will need to answer in the coming decade.
Crypto’s influence on the future of money threads its theme throughout the book’s chapters. But the decentralized ledger may not. DLT, which Bitcoin brought to mass adoption, records financial transactions without needing to trust counterparties. But not everyone building modern crypto applications employs DLTs. For example, Chinese e-yuan transactions are recorded in a centralized database.
Crypto encompasses many ideas: DLTs, digital money, privacy, new financial instruments, trustless interactions, and many more. The potential for innovation from these ideas, their combinations, and their descendants is hard to overstate.
If you’re looking to understand how money moves across banks with SWIFT or how money moves across borders from Omaha to Ouagadougou through correspondent banks or how changes to these systems impact geopolitics, the Future of Money is your ticket.