FT: Digitales Zentral­bank­geld sichert staat­liches Monopol

Am 14. November 2021 geht es in meinem Podcast um Kryptowährungen. Zu Gast ist (erneut) der österreichische Ökonom und Publizist Rahim Taghizadegan. Taghizadegan leitet die private und unabhängige Bildungs- und Forschungseinrichtung Scholarium in Wien. Zur Vorbereitung ein paar Beiträge, die mir aufgefallen sind.

Martin Wolf ist ein Befürworter von Vollgeld, wie an dieser Stelle diskutiert:

FT: Geld sollte ein risiko­freies Asset sein

Kein Wunder, dass er so weit gehen würde, Kryptowährungen wie Bitcoin zu verbieten:

  • How should central banks respond to digital technology? This has become an urgent question. The answer is partly that both they and governments have to get a grip on the new wild west of private money. But it is also that they must now introduce digital currencies of their own.“ – bto: Muss man wirklich Geld staatlich monopolisieren oder gibt es gute Gründe, Geld „privat“ zu lassen?
  • The state must not abandon its role in ensuring the safety and usability of money. The idea that it should is a libertarian fantasy. Moreover, action is now urgent. According to a paper by Gary Gorton of Yale and Jeffery Zhang of the Federal Reserve, innovators have now created more than 8,000 cryptocurrencies.“ – bto: Martin Wolf, der Autor, hat sich in der Vergangenheit für Vollgeld ausgesprochen. Er ist so gesehen staatsgläubig.
  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) argues in its latest annual report that ‘cryptocurrencies are speculative assets rather than money, and in many cases are used to facilitate money laundering, ransomware attacks and other financial crimes. Bitcoin in particular has few redeeming public interest attributes when also considering its wasteful energy footprint.’ In my view, such ‘currencies’ should be illegal.“ – bto: Und hier schreibt der Chefvolkswirt der FINANCIAL TIMES!
  • More important than the new ‘currencies’ is the entry of Big Tech into payments. This offers benefits, but also dangers. Current payment systems are costly, with small cash payments even now cheaper than credit or debit cards and international payments notably expensive. Moreover, digital payment systems are not available to all, even in high-income countries. In principle, these new players could bring big improvements. But this development also threatens fragmentation of the payment system, erosion of privacy and even exploitation of consumers.“ – bto: Die Kritik am existierenden System teile ich, aber ich würde daraus nicht ableiten, die Innovatoren zu verbieten.
  • It is the job of central banks (with other regulators) to ensure that the revolution in digital payments works for society as a whole. There is now the possibility — necessity, in my view — of augmenting cash with central bank digital currencies. (…) should CBDCs be used solely in wholesale transactions or also by retail customers? The answer has to be the latter. It has always been problematic that the benefit of holding safe government money goes to private banks, not the public (other than via cash). Now, this can and should change, to the public’s benefit.“ – bto: So kann man argumentieren. Es hat aber auch Nachteile. Die Anonymität fehlt, Manipulation ist möglich, ganz zu schweigen von der Chance, Negativzinsen und Vermögensabgaben durchzusetzen.
  • Should retail customers have CBDC accounts at the central bank, thereby bypassing retail banks altogether? Or should there be a hybrid form, in which retail customers’ CBDC accounts are held at the central bank, but administered by private institutions? Or should retail CBDC accounts be held by private institutions, with central banks only handling wholesale settlement, as now?“ – bto: Es ist aber klar, dass wir hier von einer grundlegend anderen Geldordnung sprechen.
  • Ultimately, the goal should be faster, safer and cheaper payment systems, available to all. It is crucial that the natural monopoly of money and the public good of a payment system does not morph into private monopolies of digital giants. The intermeshing of public purpose with the private interests of banks has been bad enough. If the same happened on a bigger scale with, say, Facebook, it would be even worse.“ – bto: Die kapitalistische FT ist hier (erneut) auf der Staatslinie.
  • A huge question is what the emergence of CBDCs might mean for private banks. Evidently, in a crisis, money might run into CBDCs from other liquid assets, including conventional bank deposits. Yet one can also argue that the possibility of owning completely safe CBDC accounts could be a good thing. The moral hazard created by public guarantees to private banks could then be ended and so the financial system would be reconfigured without it.“ – bto: Hier ist Wolf konsistent mit seiner Präferenz für Vollgeld.
  • It is essential that public bodies ensure a safe and sound payments system available to all. It is necessary that they regulate, or even eliminate, dangerous new players. It is vital, above all, that they ensure that the promise of new technologies for faster and cheaper payments underpins a better monetary system, while also improving intermediation. (…) the fundamental requirement is the same as always, namely, reliable systems in which the public can place their trust. Central banks will play a leading role in ensuring this. They can do so by embracing the possibilities of the new technologies, while preventing a chaotic free for all.” – bto: kein Wettbewerb der Qualität, sondern die Sicherung des Geldmonopols.