各国正朝着创造数字货币的方向快速前进——或者，我们听到了这样的消息various surveysshowing an increasing number of central banks making substantial progress toward having an official digital currency.
But, in fact, close to 80% of the world’s central banks are either not allowed to issue digital currency under their existing laws, or the legal framework is not clear.
To help countries make this assessment, we reviewed the central bank laws of 174 International Monetary Fund (IMF) members in a新的国际货币基金组织员工纸, and found out that only about 40 are legally allowed to issue digital currencies.
Not Just a Legal Technicality
Any money issuance is a form of debt for the central bank, so it must have a solid basis to avoid legal, financial and reputational risks for the institutions. Ultimately, it is about ensuring that a significant and potentially contentious innovation is in line with a central bank’s mandate. Otherwise, the door is opened to political and legal challenges.
To legally qualify as currency, a means of payment must be considered as such by the country’s laws and be denominated in its official monetary unit. A currency typically enjoys legal tender status, meaning debtors can pay their obligations by transferring it to creditors.
Therefore, legal tender status is usually only given to means of payment that can be easily received and used by the majority of the population. That is why banknotes and coins are the most common form of currency.
From a legal perspective, the difference is between centuries-old traditions and uncharted waters. The first model is as old as central banking itself, having been developed in the early seventeenth century by the Exchange Bank of Amsterdam — considered the precursor of modern central banks. Its legal status under public and private law in most countries is well developed and understood. Digital tokens, in contrast, have a very short history and unclear legal status. Some central banks are allowed to issue any type of currency — which could include digital forms — while most (61%) are limited to only banknotes and coins.
The overlapping of these and other design features can create very complex legal challenges — and could well influence the decisions made by each monetary authority.
中央银行数字货币的创建还将引起许多其他领域的法律问题，包括税收、财产、合同和破产法；支付系统；隐私和数据保护；最根本的是防止洗钱和资助恐怖主义。如果他们是”货币发展的下一个里程碑,” central bank digital currencies need robust legal foundations that ensure smooth integration to the financial system, credibility and broad acceptance by countries’ citizens and economic agents.
A version of this piece originally appeared on theInternational Monetary Fund博客。