DP13517 Monetary Policy in a World of Cryptocurrencies

Author(s): Pierpaolo Benigno
Publication Date: February 2019
Date Revised: April 2022
Keyword(s):
JEL(s):
Programme Areas: Financial Economics, Monetary Economics and Fluctuations
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13517

Can currency competition affect central banks' control of interest rates and prices? Yes, it can. In a two-currency world with competing cash (material or digital), the growth rate of the cryptocurrency sets an upper bound on the nominal interest rate and the attainable inflation rate, if the government currency is to retain its role as medium of exchange. In any case, the government has full control of the inflation rate. With an interest-bearing digital currency, equilibria in which government currency loses medium-of-exchange property are ruled out. This benefit comes at the cost of relinquishing control over the inflation rate.