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The (Near) Future of Central Bank Digital Currencies

Risks and Opportunities for the Global Economy and Society

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Edited By Nicola Bilotta and Fabrizio Botti

The value of global cashless payments has been radically increasing worldwide. Despite cash being the most used payment instrument in the world, technological innovation and new consumer preferences are decisively transforming the way consumers pay and manage money. The COVID-19 pandemic may also have been an accelerator of the cashless mega-trend. Private players currently dominate the digital payment ecosystem, urging central banks to seek solutions to ensure public access to legal tender if cash is phased out. In this context, the idea of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is gaining momentum. Nevertheless, there is a need to better understand the implications in terms of risks, benefits and potential costs of CBDCs. From privacy concerns to macroeconomic effects, these implications blur the boundaries of the payment and financial systems, challenging the core functions of our economy and society.

Nicola Bilotta is a researcher at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the international political economy area. Previously, he worked as a senior research analyst at The Banker Research Team (Financial Times), with which he still collaborates. He was associate fellow at the Seven Pillar Institute of Finance & Ethics and associate researcher at the Istituto di Alti Studi di Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliari.

Fabrizio Botti is Senior Fellow in the field of economics and finance at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and Intesa Sanpaolo Fellow. He is also Research Fellow at Guglielmo Marconi University. He is core member of "Minerva - Laboratory on Gender Diversity and Gender Inequality" at the Department of Statistics of Sapienza University of Rome. Previously he was Marie Curie Fellow at the Faculty of Economics and Politics of University of Cambridge and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for African Studies of Florida University.