While there is an element of feeling the need to address new private sector currency developments which threaten central bank monopolies, specific objectives are beginning to emerge.
This article does not consider technology issues, confining its comments to the policy objectives identified in an IMF survey of central banks. It points out the dangers to individual freedom and why the application of a monetary policy extended to include central bank digital currencies are bound to fail.
Fiat currencies are failing — let's try something different. This seems to be the logic partly behind the feverish research by central banks into digital currencies (CBDCs). The central banks of the Bahamas, Ecuador, Ukraine and Uruguay have conducted limited scale pilot projects, and China is also reported to have planned trials through Meituan-Dianping, an on-line food retailer and two further Tencent backed companies, though the status of these projects is at the moment unclear.