While the Federal Reserve has made no decisions on whether to pursue or implement a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, we have been exploring the potential benefits and risks of CBDCs from a variety of angles, including through technological research and experimentation. Our key focus is on whether and how a CBDC could improve on an already safe and efficient U.S. domestic payments system.
CBDC is generally defined as a digital liability of a central bank that is widely available to the general public. Today in the United States, Federal Reserve notes (i.e., physical currency) are the only type of central bank money available to the general public. Like existing forms of money, a CBDC would enable the general public to make digital payments. As a liability of the Federal Reserve, however, a CBDC would be the safest digital asset available to the general public, with no associated credit or liquidity risk.
The Federal Reserve Board has issued a discussion paper that examines the pros and cons of a potential U.S. CBDC. As part of this process, we sought public feedback on a range of topics related to CBDC. The Federal Reserve is committed to hearing a wide range of voices on these topics.