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Journal Article
New Moneys in the Digital Era

The history of money helps explain the recent turmoil in cryptocurrencies.
Economic Insights , Volume 8 , Issue 2 , Pages 2-10

Discussion Paper
Is There a Bitcoin–Macro Disconnect?

Cryptocurrencies’ market capitalization has grown rapidly in recent years. This blog post analyzes the role of macro factors as possible drivers of cryptocurrency prices. We take a high-frequency perspective, and we focus on Bitcoin since its market capitalization dwarfs that of all other cryptocurrencies combined. The key finding is that, unlike other asset classes, Bitcoin has not responded significantly to U.S. macro and monetary policy news. This disconnect is puzzling, as unexpected changes in discount rates should, in principle, affect the price of Bitcoin.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230208

Discussion Paper
Stimulus, Savings, and Inflation: The Top Five Liberty Street Economics Posts of 2021

New York Fed researchers tackled a wide array of topics on Liberty Street Economics (LSE) over the past year, with the myriad effects of the pandemic—on supply chains, the banking system, and inequality, for example—remaining a major area of focus. Judging by the list below, LSE readers were particularly interested in understanding what comes next: the most-viewed posts of the year analyze households’ use of stimulus payments, the implications of lockdown-period savings, the risk of a new housing bubble, the compression of the breakeven inflation curve, and the potential roles that ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20211222

Journal Article
Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Transformative Potential and Associated Risks

Financial services in the crypto finance world are provided by a combination of centralized finance (CeFi) organizations and decentralized finance (DeFi). CeFi's are roughly similar to traditional financial intermediaries, but DeFi seeks to provide services using smart contracts (computer code) rather than an intermediary. DeFi's unusual structure creates some interesting potential but also raises new risks in addition to those already inherent in blockchains and crypto finance. This paper reviews some of the opportunities and risks.
Policy Hub , Volume 2022 , Issue 14

Journal Article
Bitcoin’s Decentralized Decision Structure

With the introduction of bitcoin, the world got not just a new currency, it also got evidence that a decentralized control structure could work in practice for institutional governance. This Commentary discusses the advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized control structures by examining the features of the bitcoin payment system. We show that while the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network "democratizes" payments, it is not obvious that the approach increases the equity or efficiency of markets or that the costs of the decentralized control structure won?t ...
Economic Commentary , Issue July

Discussion Paper
Runs on Stablecoins

Stablecoins are digital assets whose value is pegged to that of fiat currencies, usually the U.S. dollar, with a typical exchange rate of one dollar per unit. Their market capitalization has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, from $5 billion in 2019 to around $180 billion in 2022. Notwithstanding their name, however, stablecoins can be very unstable: between May 1 and May 16, 2022, there was a run on stablecoins, with their circulation decreasing by 15.58 billion and their market capitalization dropping by $25.63 billion (see charts below.) In this post, we describe the ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230712

Bullard Speaks with Yahoo Finance about Inflation, Labor Markets

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard discussed his expectations for inflation 2021 and 2022. He also discussed the labor market, wages, cryptocurrencies and other topics during an appearance on Yahoo Finance.

Tokens vs. Accounts: Why the Distinction Still Matters

Computer science experts may say the difference is irrelevant in the digital world. But when it comes to payments, distinguishing the two still has value in the real world.
On the Economy

Journal Article
Fed Eyes Central Bank Digital Currency

Digital assets have been all the rage. Millions of Americans have invested in privately issued cryptocurrencies, whose market value surpassed $3 trillion for a while late last year. Further pushing the envelope of innovation and speculation, the prices of so-called "algorithmic" cryptocurrencies such as TerraUSD have been supported by yet other cryptocurrencies in arrangements that some observers have likened to Ponzi schemes. Meanwhile, collectors have spent billions of dollars to purchase pieces of art and other items in the form of digital "non-fungible tokens" or NFTs.
Econ Focus , Issue 2Q , Pages 10-13

Working Paper
Should Central Banks Issue Digital Currency?

We study how the introduction of a central bank-issued digital currency affects interest rates, the level of economic activity, and welfare in an environment where both central bank money and private bank deposits are used in exchange. Banks in our model are financially constrained, and the liquidity premium on bank deposits affects the level of aggregate investment. We study the optimal design of a digital currency in this setting, including whether it should pay interest and how widely it should circulate. We highlight an important policy tradeoff: while a digital currency tends to promote ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-26



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