What is new about cryptocurrencies? A visual analysis

Author name: 
Kavuri AS
Milne A
Wood J

In the context of recent developments with cryptocurrencies, as well as the potential rise of central bank digital currencies, we present a new visualisation of money. Using three novel figures, we distinguish between the relevant mechanisms, technologies, recordkeeping, and transactions of various forms of money, as well as the classifications of different types of money; this enables the resolution of omissions and ambiguities in other recent such visualisations (CPMI 2018; Bech and Garratt 2017; Bech and Garratt 2017; CPMI 2015; Wadsworth 2018a; Wadsworth 2018b). This reveals the novelty of cryptocurrencies, which use the software-based cryptographically secured recordkeeping, that support the issue of money with a credible commitment to a limited quantity of issue. We conclude with a discussion of policy implications stemming from our analysis.

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