Discussing the future of digital currencies and assets

© Photo de Silas Baisch sur Unsplash

© Photo de Silas Baisch sur Unsplash

Although digital currencies contain seeds of benefits, they may also contribute to destabilising monetary and financial policies, with cascading effects in economic and social policies that could significantly undermine well-being and trust. Concerned by the future of digital currencies and assets, the EPFL International Risk Governance Center (IRGC) released 10 highlights from an expert workshop.

Few people in IRGC’s audience are interested in finance, financial risks or how the monetary and payment system contributes to risk governance globally. Among scientists and in a school of technology, the idea that IRGC would work on digital currency risk governance also seemed strange. So why did we organise in October 2022 a multistakeholder and interdisciplinary workshop on that issue? The simple answer is two-fold: first, because money, and fair and efficient payment systems, are needed to reduce risk; second, because cryptocurrencies increase risks to people.

Indeed digitalisation and a range of technical developments make possible the democratisation of electronic forms of money (for example, to replace bank notes) and increase payment efficiency (faster and cheaper). This brings many benefits to the economy that can cascade to more effective ways of reducing risks elsewhere. However, this also brings a range of new risks, which require both technical and governance approaches for mitigation.

If you are interested in these matters, read the ‘10 highlights’ from IRGC’s workshop, and, for more detailed but non-technical information about digital currencies and their possible future, consult the background paper to the workshop.

To learn more about IRGC’s work, visit irgc.epfl.ch