Central Bank Digital Currencies – The Quest for Public Digital Payment Infrastructures

Central Banks provide foundational public infrastructures for payments such as cash and gross settlement systems. In an evolving context, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are efforts to leverage new patterns and technologies to provide infrastructures relevant to the digital age. Various research endeavors intend to anticipate their adoption vectors and potential consequences. However, CBDC projects are confronted with contradictory motivations and a large panel of design options.

On the technological level, state-of-the-art cryptography and distributed systems are being considered, as well as more mature technologies. While some initial projects have limited relevance, they raise fundamental questions about the functions of Central Banks, the respective roles of thepublic and private sectors, technological design and international monetary competition that will be defining for the payment industry, economic development and sovereignty.

About the author
Xavier Lavayssière is an independent researcher on digital finance.
Graduated in Public Law of the Economy and Computer Science, Xavier focuses on the intersection of technical architectures, policy objectives and regulations of new digital finance infrastructures. Mr Lavayssière has participated in developing foundational technical projects, education programs and research publications. He is a lecturer at University Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne.

About the Blockchain@X Research Center
Blockchain@X (Ecole Polytechnique) was founded in 2017 by Julien Prat and Daniel Augot. Sponsored by Capgemini, Nomadic Labs and Caisse des Dépôts, it brings together researchers in computer science and economics whose research focuses on blockchains and associated technologies.