A CBDC is a digital version of fiat currency that is backed by the government and offered by a central bank. With CBDCs, individuals and businesses can transact peer-to-peer without the need for intermediaries such as commercial banks. The shift towards CBDCs is primarily driven by three factors: technological advancements, the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, and the need to reduce the cost of printing physical currencies.
The use of CBDCs will alter the role that traditional banks play in the financial sector. Banks, for instance, will have to share their customer data with central banks, and the latter will have direct control over monetary policy. Moreover, the adoption of CBDCs will reduce the cost of transacting and potentially eliminate the need for commercial banks to provide certain financial services.
However, the shift towards CBDCs is likely to have some adverse effects on the traditional banking system. For instance, commercial banks will need to adjust to the new reality of reduced role and revenue streams. Banks earn money by charging transaction fees and lending out deposits, but with CBDCs, transaction fees may be lower, and the central banks can set loan interest rates, making it hard for banks to earn profits.
Another major concern is the impact of CBDCs on financial stability. Since it will be easier for customers to transact directly with central banks and bypass intermediary financial institutions, the stability of the traditional banking system may be in jeopardy. As more people opt to transact using CBDCs, the deposits held by commercial banks may shrink, making it hard for them to lend money, leading to an economic slowdown.
In conclusion, the global shift towards CBDCs is a significant step towards creating a digital economy. While it may be challenging for traditional banks to adjust to the new reality, they can collaborate with central banks to ensure a smooth transition. Banks can offer additional services that complement CBDCs, such as asset management and advisory services. The CBDCs provide an opportunity for banks to innovate and stay competitive while ensuring the stability of the financial system.