Today, the vast majority of our payments by volume and value are processed by regulated financial institutions. In the U.S. payment system, digital currencies are a niche product that sometimes garners large headlines.
While these digital currencies may not pose major concerns at their current levels of use, more serious financial stability issues may result if they achieve wide-scale usage.
Perhaps most ironic is Quarles' description of the 'drawbacks' of cryptocurrencies...
But from the standpoint of analysis, the "currency" or asset at the center of some of these systems is not backed by other secure assets, has no intrinsic value, is not the liability of a regulated banking institution, and in leading cases, is not the liability of any institution at all. Indeed, how to treat and define this new asset is complicated.