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International Monetary Fund (IMF) director, Kristalina Georgieva, has raised concerns about the potential consequences of retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) on the financial system.

The director also stated that retail digital versions of fiat currencies issued and backed by central banks, CBDCs, may threaten financial stability.

Georgieva made this clear in an interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference. According to her, while retail CBDCs could offer many potential benefits, such as improving financial inclusion, they could also present significant risks without proper design and regulation.

IMF Director Aired Concerns Regarding Retail CBDCs

The director highlighted that introducing these currencies could cause bank disintermediation, negatively affecting monetary policy transmission.

Georgieva further clarified the differences between wholesale and retail CBDCs, noting that retail CBDCs are primarily for businesses and consumers. 

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On the other hand, wholesale CBDCs are designed to enable financial institutions to perform transactions with a central bank. However, both CBDC categories are issued by central banks. 

Notably, the IMF director said there are more chances for error with the retail CBDCs than the wholesale ones. On that note, she suggested that wholesale CBDCs should substitute retail ones.

Furthermore, the director urged central banks to be cautious when implementing CBDCs and to thoroughly assess their potential impacts on the financial system. She also called for global cooperation and coordination in developing and regulating CBDCs to ensure consistency and reduce potential risks to the global financial system.

Georgieva stated that the International Monetary Fund is presently looking at partnering with 50 nations. The essence of this move is to ensure that the countries are correctly practicing the adoption of CBDCs. She believes this will significantly impact the economies and banks in the long run.

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The IMF has been closely monitoring the development of CBDCs and has recently issued several reports on the topic. The organization has emphasized the need for proper regulation and risk management frameworks to ensure the safe and efficient implementation of CBDCs.

Wide Adoption Of CBDCs

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have gained increasing attention and momentum as more countries explore their potential benefits. As a result, there has been a growing trend toward adopting CBDCs worldwide, with several countries already developing and implementing their digital currencies.

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Meanwhile, the IMF director also cited that the United States’ CBDCs development is ongoing, raising the belief that the future of CBDCs is here. 

Aside from these facts, the organization announced it would support central banks implementing and designing these currencies through a CBDC handbook.

Notably, the growth of CBDC adoption signals a significant shift in the global financial system. However, adopting the correct practices is necessary to bring this into reality.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from Tradingview

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