ECB paper warns of regulatory arbitrage on crypto-assets

20 mai 2019

The European Central Bank recently published a white paper dedicated to Crypto-Assets: „Implications for financial stability, monetary policy, and payments and market infrastructures”.
The paper summarises the outcomes of the analysis of the ECB Crypto-Assets Task Force. First, it proposes a characterisation of crypto-assets in the absence of a common definition and as a basis for the consistent analysis of this phenomenon.

Second, it analyses recent developments in the crypto-assets market and unfolding links with financial markets and the economy. Finally, it assesses the potential impact of crypto-assets on monetary policy, payments and market infrastructures, and financial stability.

The analysis shows that, in the current market, crypto-assets’ risks or potential implications are limited and/or manageable on the basis of the existing regulatory and oversight frameworks. However, this assessment is subject to change and should not prevent the ECB from continuing to monitor crypto-assets, raise awareness and develop preparedness.

The document has also contained a special annex dedicated to The case for central bank digital currency in the European Union. According to the white paper, „The status of the euro as the single currency of 19 EU Member States is not under discussion. Hence, the ECB’s analysis is premised on the notion of CBDC (central bank digital currency) as a potential new form of the euro that is complementary to euro banknotes, coins, and wholesale deposits provided by the central bank, and to commercial bank deposits and electronic money provided by private entities under the relevant licensing regimes.”

„Research suggests that any hypothetical CBDC would come with both benefits and costs and would have manifold implications, ranging from its impact on financial stability to its interaction with the transmission of monetary policy and the operational efficiency of payment systems. Further analysis suggests that the actual costs and benefits of CBDC would ultimately depend on its specific design features.”

Download the full document: Crypto-Assets: Implications for financial stability, monetary policy, and payments and market infrastructures

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