Central Bank Digital Currencies: Policy Issues [July 21, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "Over the country's history, the U.S. monetary system has undergone several fundamental transformations, resulting in significant changes in how the financial system operates. [...] In recent years, digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, have been privately issued, and many countries have begun developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). This has led to a debate in the United States about whether the Fed should also issue a CBDC. It is an open question whether the introduction of a CBDC would also lead to fundamental changes in the financial system, or whether it would be more comparable to the introduction of electronic clearing of paper checks--a technological change in back office operation that is largely unnoticeable to consumers. Congress has participated in the debate over whether the United States should have a CBDC and, if so, the features it should have and whether legislation is needed to enable or expedite that process. [...] This report explains what CBDCs are and how they would alter the current financial landscape, what steps the rest of the world is taking to develop CBDCs, the range of potential design features for a CBDC, and what policy issues are raised by CBDCs. It starts with a brief description of current payments systems and digital currencies."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46850
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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