Ms. Marianne Bechara, Wouter Bossu, Ms. Yan Liu, and Arthur Rossi
Fintech presents unique opportunities for central banks. The rapid changes in technology that are transforming the financial system will allow central banks to enhance the execution of various of their core functions, such as currency issuance and payment systems. But some aspects of fintech pose major challenges. Central banks have always been at the cutting edge of financial technology and innovation. In the past, the invention of the banknote, the processing of payments through debits and credits in book-entry accounts, and the successive transitions of interbank payment systems from the telegraph to internet protocols were all transformative innovations. Today, central banks are facing new and unprecedented challenges: distributed ledger technology, new data analytics (artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning), and cloud computing, along with a wider spread of mobile access and increased internet speed and bandwidth. The purpose of this note is to discuss the authors’ preliminary views on how, from a legal perspective, central banks can best deal with the impact of fintech on their governance. These preliminary views are based on a review of central banks’ reaction thus far to the challenges posed by fintech to the legal foundations of their governance.
Mr. John Kiff, Jihad Alwazir, Sonja Davidovic, Aquiles Farias, Mr. Ashraf Khan, Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong, Majid Malaika, Mr. Hunter K Monroe, Nobu Sugimoto, Hervé Tourpe, and Peter Zhou
This paper examines key considerations around central bank digital currency (CBDC) for
use by the general public, based on a comprehensive review of recent research, central
bank experiments, and ongoing discussions among stakeholders. It looks at the reasons
why central banks are exploring retail CBDC issuance, policy and design considerations;
legal, governance and regulatory perspectives; plus cybersecurity and other risk
considerations. This paper makes a contribution to the CBDC literature by suggesting a
structured framework to organize discussions on whether or not to issue CBDC, with an
operational focus and a project management perspective.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper highlights The Bahamas’ Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic comes on the heels of the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. Coupled with domestic containment measures, the collapse in tourism will cause a deep recession. The Bahamian authorities have taken timely and targeted measures to boost health spending and mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, supporting jobs and vulnerable segments of the population. The disbursement under the RFI will help boost resources for essential COVID-19-related outlays, strengthen reserves, and catalyze additional support from other international financial institutions, development partners, and the private sector. In order to address the urgent fiscal needs, the central bank will on-lend the disbursement to the Ministry of Finance. The IMF staff is confident that the authorities will pursue appropriate policies for alleviating the impact of the pandemic, based on the country’s strong track record. The Bahamas is assessed to have sustainable debt and adequate capacity to repay the IMF.