Budapest, 7 July 2021

Digitalisation undoubtedly upsets the financial system and pose challenges for all market participants, central banks, and national currencies as well. The traditional monetary system now has a competitor in the form of global technology companies entering the market of financial services. They produce the ‘digital rivals’ to national currencies through the digital means of payment they offer. Central banks also need to respond these challenges.

In the decade of financial revolution, central banks all over the world are looking at possible ways of introducing central bank digital currencies. Some of them, for example the People’s Bank of China or the Swedish Riksbank, have made good progress in their projects. These developments may help the financial inclusion of those who currently do not use banking services, support the reduction of cash, and provide a widely available means of payment in the event of cash evasion. Access to money can thus become cheaper, faster, and even more secure, and move across borders quicker than ever before.

The MNB intends to join the leading central banks in the field of central bank digital currency research, the first step of which is to publish a comprehensive study volume entitled At the dawn of a new age - Money in the 21st century. The MNB summarises the theoretical considerations, the most important practical issues, the motives behind the potential creation of this new instrument and the opportunities offered by this new form of money. The study volume is also unique internationally, as in addition to the conceptual and design considerations of the possible forms of central bank digital currency, it also covers their monetary policy, financial stability, and cash flow effects, as well as the issues of infrastructural implementation.