Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have been in the rumors since 2013, with China allegedly developing in secrecy a government-issued centralized cryptocurrency to fight off the increasingly popular Bitcoin. But it wasn’t until September 2015 when the Bank of England had publicly discussed for the first time the use of a blockchain-based central bank currency as a way to implement negative interest rates, and March 2016 when the phrase “central bank digital currency” had been coined.
To be sure, CBDCs have been a scarecrow for the cryptocurrency community for quite some time now. But how real is the danger? And couldn’t it in fact turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Bitcoin and its brothers in arms over the long haul? A sober look into the reality of CBDCs and their seemingly brewing stand-off with cryptocurrencies is due and invited.