- September 20, 2020
- Posted by: icoblock
- Category: News
The invention of blockchain technology also referred to as a distributed ledger system, marked a major milestone in advancing information technologies. Distributed ledger systems have received widespread use cases majorly in the financial sector thanks to its safety, transparency, and efficiency. Blockchain technology has indeed revolutionized the banking sector with efficient cross-border payment systems, fast and efficient payment, clearing and settlement process in payment systems, as well as enabling the use of interbank payments in the issuing and management of bonds in the securities market.
But the most outstanding application of blockchain technology in the banking sector is the issuance of central bank digital currencies (CBDC). At the start of the digital currency revolution marked by Bitcoin’s launch in 2019, nations across the world were a bit skeptical of jumping onto the idea of digital currencies. However, today, digital currencies are beginning to shape up the future of monetary policies with physical cash staring at a bleak future.
In recent years, central banks are increasingly looking at the possibility of issuing central bank digital currencies, with the topic becoming a contentious issue among economists and money regulators across the globe. In 2019, over 60 central banks across the world studied the possibility of issuing CBDCs. Some of these banks included the US Federal Bank, the Central Bank of Japan, the Central Bank of Canada, the People’s Bank of China, the Central Bank of Sweden, the Central Bank of Russia, among others.
But the idea of central banks issuing CBDCs is no walk in the park. Implementing digital currencies into existing monetary and credit systems is faced with numerous challenges. It involves both financial and systemic risks both on the side of the regulator and the users.
Nonetheless, upcoming development in the crypto space, notably Apollo Fintech’s National Payment Platform (NPP), would allow central banks to seamlessly and securely issue CBDCs with minimal or no risk. NPP is an innovative, cashless system that enables a central bank to issue a sovereign, digital currency (stablecoin) for national adoption. Herein, we look at key features of CBDCs and how governments can leverage NPP to safely implement digital currencies into existing monetary and credit systems.
Key Feature of Central Bank Digital Currencies
While CBDC may take different forms involving functional, technological, and economic factors depending on a country’s monetary policy, they share several key characteristics. Below are critical attributes of central bank digital currencies.
Based on Blockchain
CBDCs are issued and managed using blockchain technology. However, unlike cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are centralized, with the central banks controlling and managing its circulation via a private blockchain network. Also, CBDCs don’t constitute a key feature of digital currencies, including transparency of transactions, complete anonymity of data, and low transaction cost. CBDCs is still a new concept with new protocols coming out in the crypto space to facilitate secure and easy issuance. For instance, Apollo Fintech’s National Payment Platform offers central banks a platform to issue a sovereign, digital currency for national adoption.
In cryptocurrencies, exchanges and wallets act as the storage devices. Cryptocurrency wallets essentially store users’ private keys and enable users to send, receive, and trade cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies can either be a hot wallet (online wallet) and a cold wallet (offline wallet). Unlike cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are stored in central banks, taking the form of accounts.
CBDCs are not entirely anonymous to prevent financial crimes, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, and privacy. CBDCs have been critically designed, putting a balance between anonymity and central bank policies. Regarding anonymity, CBDCs are much like private digital tokens and usually don’t employ any anonymity.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are transferred using a peer-to-peer mechanism, CBDCs are transferred through the central bank, which acts as the intermediary. CBDCs can also be transferred via a peer-to-peer basis or a third party such as a commercial bank or a third-party agent.
Unlike cash, which is limited to central bank operating hours, CBDCs are accessible 24/7. However, a wholesale CBDC is only available only during a particular time i.e., operating hours of wholesale payment systems.
The concept of interest charged on CBDCs has still not taken a clear direction. Most central banks are proposing a model where users will pay interest on both token-and account-based CBDCs. Favorable interest rates charged on CBDCs would enhance demand for CBDCs, especially at their initial stages, when they’re trying to integrate into the monetary and credit system. There are several advantages to charging interest rates on CBDCs, including increasing its demand crucial for national adoption.
How Governments can Implement CBDCs
There are various ways governments can integrate digital CBDCs into the existing monetary and credit system. Governments can implement CBDCs by replacing cash in circulation i.e., a transition from cash to digital currencies as a legal tender. CBDCs can also be integrated into existing monetary and credit systems as an addition to cash (without necessarily removing cash) or as an alternative form of money equivalent to money.
Apollo Fintech, through its National Payment Platform, offers a solution to governments to integrate digital CBDCs into the existing monetary and credit system. NPP is an innovative blockchain-backed cashless system that enables a central bank to issue a sovereign, digital currency (stablecoin) for national adoption. NPP is a comprehensive solution that integrates Apollo Cash, Apollo Bank Network, and other cashless innovations to enable central banks to issue, manage, and control CBDCs, which can be sent and received through mobile texts.
After issuance, NPP enables central banks to partner with commercial banks and agents to circulate the digital currencies. NPP is essentially an entire ecosystem constituting a market place, merchants, peer to peer transactions on the app, QR codes, SMS, and offline codes.
The time has come for central banks worldwide to develop CBDCs and integrate them into the existing monetary system. Digital currencies offer plenty of benefits, including transparency, security, and privacy. Apollo Fintech’s National Payment Platform is the ultimate blockchain-powered system that can enable central banks to achieve a smooth transition from physical cash to digital currencies, which will offer plenty of benefits.