Central Bank Digital Currencies [CBDC] have started to gain a lot of momentum ever since Facebook announced its plans for Libra last month. The latest development on the subject is news of the central banks of Britain, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the European Central Bank, and the Bank for International Settlements, coming together to look into the prospects of a CBDC.
The topic of central bank-issued digital currencies was recently discussed by Riccardo Spagni – co-founder of Tari – in a recent interview. Taking Davos into consideration, Spagni commented that it is “old school” and that the people are either bankers, CEOs, or world leaders, adding that that the hype behind CBDCs would be “really difficult” to grasp for them.
“I don’t think they want it. I think they just want things to continue. And so, a lot of the central bank cryptocurrency type things really revolves around how do we continue with the status quo while still taking a box that says, ‘oh we used blockchain.’”
Subsequently, Spagni also spoke about the future of privacy coins like Monero, whether they would be deemed to be compliant while still preserving its privacy aspects. To this, he responded that there has been a shift lately, with more people now leaning towards ensuring privacy rights, adding that companies like Apple are already making privacy mainstream.
“They’re saying, ‘it’s okay to turn around and say to a government, ‘I’m not going to comply with your regulation’ because I’m a big company that doesn’t need to’, ‘I’m going to continue giving privacy back to the people’ […] and so, as that mainstreaming of privacy happens, we’re going to see the general acceptance of privacy enhancing tools.”
This was followed by Spagni claiming that he hopes to “see a future where cryptocurrencies like Monero” are viewed the same way as cash, a future where regulators would be able to regulate the on-ramps and off-ramps, but would consider it as a digital version of cash.
“Its cash is transcended into this digital state and we accept that as regulators and we’re just gonna regulate it as we were gonna cash today.”
The privacy advocate also touched upon the topic of the changes/improvements that would be introduced in Monero this year, claiming that there would be “lots of big improvements” in the cryptocurrency’s privacy. He added that there was a lot of research work going on right now, adding that he is particularly “excited” about the new versions of RingCT that enable “expanded privacy set per transaction.”
“[…] Monero’s main aim is to just continue to beat the drum of improving privacy, because privacy is not a state you achieve as a software product; you don’t go ‘okay, this piece of software I built is now private the end’ because someone’s gonna come along and break that and so you’re just constantly playing that cat-and-mouse game […]”