Axess Think Tank, a Geneva based think tank organised a great event focused on four themes
- The future of money
- The Regulatory landscape
- ICO-STO and Capital markets
- Blockchain and the Token economy
I had the pleasure of moderating the last two panels.
One of the takeaways from the entire event, was around the issues of cryptocurrencies issued from Central Banks or some such.
When you have a board member of the SNB Andrea Maechler, a senior research advisor to the BOE Michael Kumhof, a research fellow of the Fed St. Louis & Professor at univ. of Basel Aleksander Berentsen, a research fellow of the UCL Center for Blockchain Technology Daniel Heller; there is a lot to absorb from their talks and panel discussions. Add to that the moderator Michel Girardin, from the Univ of Geneva and Jean-Pierre Roth, the ex Governor of SNB, in the audience.
They agreed that payments are the very heart of any economy and that we live in a world that customers expect payments to be like WhatsApp messages.
The SNB is actually following the innovations around payments, whether Fintech or Bitcoin originated. Andrea Maechler, emphasized that the SNB`s mandate is to support and promote cashless payments and this done through SIX. Fintechs that hold a FINMA payment license will be granted access to the SIX system.
Regarding CBDC`s they have concluded that it is not a tech issue but rather a policy issue. The SNB believes that while there are advantages, the main disadvantages, make CBDCs a no-no for the SNB. They see that a CBDC would increase the risk of bank run and would make monetary policy ineffective when it is actually mostly needed.
This is where Aleksander Bernesten actually stepped up and provoked the thinking. He firmly believes that Central Bank electronic money would increase financial stability. Give access directly to the CB to all.
His motto is that: