Embedded Supervision: How to Build Regulation into Blockchain Finance
The spread of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in finance could help to improve the efficiency and quality of supervision. This paper makes the case for embedded supervision, i.e., a regulatory framework that provides for compliance in tokenized markets to be automatically monitored by reading the market?s ledger, thus reducing the need for firms to actively collect, verify and deliver data. After sketching out a design for such schemes, the paper explores the conditions under which distributed ledger data might be used to monitor compliance. To this end, a decentralized market is modelled ...
The Blockchain Revolution: Decoding Digital Currencies
Cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance have grown considerably since the publication of the white paper on bitcoin in 2009. This article presents an overview of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and their applications, explaining the spirit of the enterprise and how it compares with traditional operations. We discuss money, digital money, and payments; cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and the double-spending problem of digital money; decentralized finance; and central bank digital currency.
A Survey of Fintech Research and Policy Discussion
The intersection of finance and technology, known as fintech, has resulted in the dramatic growth of innovations and has changed the entire financial landscape. While fintech has a critical role to play in democratizing credit access to the unbanked and thin-file consumers around the globe, those consumers who are currently well served also turn to fintech for faster services and greater transparency. Fintech, particularly the blockchain, has the potential to be disruptive to financial systems and intermediation. Our aim in this paper is to provide a comprehensive fintech literature survey ...
President's Message: Importance of Studying Innovations in Payment Technologies
For several years, economists at the St. Louis Fed have been studying innovations in payment technologies such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Transcript of Moderated Conversation at UC Berkeley Event, US Economy: 10 Years after the Crisis: November 27, 2017
Transcript of Moderated Conversation at UC Berkeley Event, US Economy: 10 Years after the Crisis: November 27, 2017.
On the Economics of Digital Currencies
Can a monetary system in which privately issued cryptocurrencies circulate as media of exchange work? Is such a system stable? How should governments react to digital currencies? Can these currencies and government-issued money coexist? Are cryptocurrencies consistent with an efficient allocation? These are some of the important questions that the sudden rise of cryptocurrencies has brought to contemporary policy discussions. To answer these questions, we construct a model of competition among privately issued .at currencies. We .nd that a purely private arrangement fails to implement an ...
Can Decentralized Finance Provide More Protection for Crypto Investors?
Several centralized crypto entities failed in 2022, resulting in the cascading failure of other crypto firms and raising questions about the protection of crypto investors. While the total amount invested in the crypto sector remains small in the United States, more than 10 percent of all Americans are invested in cryptocurrencies. In this post, we examine whether migrating crypto activities from centralized platforms to decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols might afford investors better protection, especially in the absence of regulatory changes. We argue that while DeFi provides some ...
What Makes Cryptocurrencies Different?
Permissionless blockchains, which support the most popular cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum, have shown that it is possible to transfer value without relying on centralized trusted third parties, something that is new and remarkable (although perhaps most clearly useful for less developed financial markets). What makes permissionless blockchains able to transfer value without relying on a small number of trusted third parties is the combination of several components that all need to work together. The components themselves are not particularly new, but the combination of ...
Bitcoin Is Not a New Type of Money
Bitcoin, and more generally, cryptocurrencies, are often described as a new type of money. In this post, we argue that this is a misconception. Bitcoin may be money, but it is not a new type of money. To see what is truly new about Bitcoin, it is useful to make a distinction between “money,” the asset that is being exchanged, and the “exchange mechanism,” that is, the method or process through which the asset is transferred. Doing so reveals that monies with properties similar to Bitcoin have existed for centuries. However, the ability to make electronic exchanges without a trusted ...
Beyond the Doomsday Economics of “Proof-of-Work” in Cryptocurrencies
This paper discusses the economics of how Bitcoin achieves data immutability, and thus payment finality, via costly computations, i.e., ?proof-of-work.? Further, it explores what the future might hold for cryptocurrencies modelled on this type of consensus algorithm. The conclusions are, first, that Bitcoin counterfeiting via ?double-spending? attacks is inherently profitable, making payment finality based on proof-of-work extremely expensive. Second, the transaction market cannot generate an adequate level of ?mining? income via fees as users free-ride on the fees of other transactions in a ...