In 2020, digital currencies were one of the hottest topics in town. China was well on its way to launching its own central bank digital currency, or CBDC, and many other countries launched CBDC research projects. Even Facebook has proposed a global digital currency, called Libra.
Few eyebrows were raised when the Boston branch of the US Federal Reserve announced a project to investigate how a CBDC could technically be designed. After all, a hypothetical US central bank digital currency was hardly controversial. And the US could not afford to be left behind.
How things change. Three years later, the digital dollar — even though it doesn’t exist — has become political red meat, with some politicians labeling it a dystopian surveillance tool. And at the end of last year, the Boston Fed stopped working on its project.
So is the digital dollar dream dead? Read the whole story.
Introducing the MIT Technology Review Roundtables
I’m excited to announce that MIT Technology Review is launching a new series of subscriber-only participatory online events called Roundtables. These are monthly 30-minute conversations with our writers and editors designed to keep you informed about emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, climate change and more.
The first, on August 10, will feature David Rotman, Editor-in-Chief of the MIT Technology Review, in conversation with Editor-in-Chief Mat Honan, discussing the impact of AI on the economy. The second, on September 12th, I (Charlotte, our news editor!) will be chatting with Melissa Heikkilä, our senior AI reporter, about a topic she’s very knowledgeable about: how should we regulate AI?