Research: coronavirus may accelerate national cryptocurrency issuing

The risks of using cash during the coronavirus pandemic can increase the demand for the use of the central bank's digital currencies (CBDC). These conclusions were made by specialists of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

BIS researchers have found that people are concerned with the transmission of coronavirus through cash.

“The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has led to society’s concerns regarding the transmission of viruses through cash,” the representatives of the financial institution described the situation.

The number of search queries about the level of security of using fiat during periods of the active spread of other viruses, in comparison with the coronavirus pandemic. The graph on the right shows the correlation of search queries with cash in circulation. Data: BIS study

Despite the fact that according to some scientists, the likelihood of infection through contact with paper money is lower than the danger posed by other household items, many governments have decided to conduct fiat disinfection procedures. Read more about how cash is burned in South Korea during a pandemic — read our material.

Comparison of the life expectancy of coronavirus on various surfaces with indicators of other viruses. The longest (72 hours) COVID-19 lives on plastic and stainless steel. Data: BIS study

Experts believe that a realistic assessment of the risks of working with fiat can open the way to the rejection of cash. At the same time, researchers note that the emergency switch to payment in digital format does not seem effective. The reason is that not all users will be able to quickly change their habits. Elderly people may be at risk.

The number of searches for fiat safety during a coronavirus pandemic by country. Source: BIS study

As an alternative to fiat, which researchers say contributes to the spread of the virus, society may show interest in CBDC.

“In the context of the current crisis, CBDCs should be designed with access options for non-banking and contactless technical interfaces suitable for the entire population,” the document says.

We remind that the first outbreak of coronavirus was recorded in China. At present, PRC specialists are engaged in the formation of a legislative framework for their CBDC, which may appear before November 2020.
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