WELLINGTON, Sept. 30 (Reuters) – New Zealand’s central bank said on Thursday it was seeking public input on the potential use of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Many countries are exploring the use of CBDCs, which are digital forms of existing currencies. The US Federal Reserve will soon release a study examining the costs and benefits of a CBDC, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last week.
“A central bank digital currency would see the features and benefits of cash in the digital world, working with cash and private money held in commercial bank accounts,” said RBNZ deputy governor Christian Hawkesby, in a statement.
“This could create much more efficient and integrated platforms benefiting individuals and businesses, while protecting monetary sovereignty. However, any decision to issue a CBDC should carefully consider operational risks, such as cybersecurity, and impacts on the financial sector. ,” he said.
Cryptocurrency investors and other digital finance enthusiasts are closely monitoring whether the Fed will issue a digital dollar, as well as the interest of other central banks.
While the exact structure has not been decided, a digital currency issued by a central bank would be different from cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which are decentralized and can fluctuate in value wildly.
In a document released with the statement, the RBNZ noted the decline in the use and acceptance of cash in New Zealand and innovations in private currency like stablecoins.
Central banks in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa are testing cross-border payments using different CBDCs to assess whether this makes settling transactions cheaper and easier. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Richard Pullin)