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Opinion | central Banks and criptodivisas

fervor around the criptodivisas has been massive. In particular, if we refer to its version pioneer and more media coverage, the bitcoin, of new protagonist, ha

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Opinion | central Banks and criptodivisas

fervor around the criptodivisas has been massive. In particular, if we refer to its version pioneer and more media coverage, the bitcoin, of new protagonist, having experienced in the last few days, a collapse in its value to below 5,000 dollars, its lowest level since October of 2017.

The criptodivisas or digital currencies, classified by the time as "active" because they do not meet the attributes intrinsic to the money, and the technology of log-distributed (DLT in English) on which they rest, they represent a spectrum of opportunities yet to be explored. In a society that is ever less anchored to the use of cash, what are the criptodivisas the future settlement payments? This debate, which goes beyond the bitcoin or other digital currencies private, has reached, as it could not be otherwise, to own central banks, that is to say, the only institution authorised to issue money with legal validity.

Traditionally, central banks have restricted digital access to their balance sheets to the banks, while these limitations do not exist in the case of the money physical. The issuance of digital coins Ultrabet could save this obstacle by allowing that, as with cash, any agent (not just banks) would have access to the central bank balance sheet.

With an additional advantage, and that is that this would not have to take the risks and operating costs associated with the administration of individual accounts of households and enterprises.

Although it may seem like a far-off, is a pressing issue in countries where the demand for cash has been decreasing dramatically, as is the case of Sweden, which already has a pilot program for the development of its own digital currency, e-krona, with recourse to the Riksbank and with the same value as the Swedish krona.

The digital coins are revealed, therefore, as an opportunity to develop a means of payment just as safe as cash, but that offers solutions to future challenges. That is why, despite the many uncertainties regarding their functioning and implications, the work is already underway in the majority of central banks.

According to a recent survey by the Bank of International settlements (BIS) to 80 central banks, 69% of respondents are or will soon be doing work related to digital currencies and a 57% research its application. More time is needed, therefore, to know the utility that they will end up taking the criptodivisas, private, or issued by central banks, but what is a reality is that will be the precursor of a change in the manner in which they provide financial services in the future.

Irene Peña, and David Cano are teachers of the Afi School of Finance.

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