The crypto-currencies are in full swing. Compared to 2016, the price of Bitcoin has increased 300 % and the Ethereum to 3 000 %. The amount of money collected through the ICO has also exceeds that which has been raised through funding in start-up capital. With all this frenzy, the Bank of International Settlements has decided to analyze the evolution of these currencies.
She tried to understand how could look like the central bank for crypto-currencies. Although these institutions may have advantages in integrating crypto-currencies in their reserves and treasuries, such an approach carries certain risks. This will surely have an impact on the economic model of banks and the private market of the crypto-currency.
The reserves, the species and may be the crypto-currencies
Banks today emit two forms of money. There are the reserves and the cash. The reserves are forms of electronic payments proposed to banks that have accounts at the central bank. Transactions can be done between the banks through an intermediary.
Cash, on the other hand, is a physical form of payment that can be used by all. No intermediary is necessary to carry out the transaction. A feature that allows the anonymity.
Moreover, the crypto-currency does not allow to combine these two features. Thus, the central banks provide for the establishment of two distinct versions of central bank for crypto-currencies : a version dedicated to financial institutions and a commercial version available to all.
The specificities of these two versions
If anonymity is much more relevant for the commercial version, the other version, with the significant amount of crypto-currencies, can reduce the cost of regulation, particularly due to the interbank payment system.
On the other hand, the anonymity of third party facilitates the fraud. The institutions could then require that users provide their personal identity.