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SUERF BAFFI Bocconi e-Lecture

CBDC: State of play, challenges, open issues

Calendar Dec 04, 2020 Schedule14:00 - 15:30 CET (UTC+01:00)

Date:     Friday, 4 December 2020 − 14:00-15:30 CET
Format: Cisco Webex

Ulrich Bindseil, Director General - Market Infrastructures and Payments, European Central Bank
Morten Linnemann Bech, Centre Head - Switzerland, BIS Innovation Hub

Dirk Niepelt, Professor of Economics, University of Bern; Director, Study Center Gerzensee

Topics will include:
  • What drives recent increased momentum towards CBDC?
  • What are the key problems/challenges and opportunities related to CBDC?
  • Who would decide about the introduction of CBDC in the euro area and elsewhere?
  • How will CBDC affect banks’ business models?
  • Will CBDC mean the end of privacy?
  • Will, and should CBDC give rise to extreme monetary policies?

Presentation by Ulrich Bindseil, ECB - Digital euro and some considerations on CBDC attractiveness (pdf)

Presentation by Morten Bech, BIS Innovation Hub - Project Helvetia: Settling tokenised assets using central bank money (pdf)

ECB - Report on a digital euro, October 2020

Project Helvetia: Settling tokenised assets in central bank money (bis.org)
Project Helvetia, an experiment between the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub Swiss Centre, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the financial market infrastructure operator SIX, successfully shows the feasibility of integrating tokenised assets and central bank money. The project demonstrates the functional feasibility and legal robustness of settling tokenised assets with a wholesale CBDC (PoC1) and with linking a DLT platform to existing payment systems (PoC2) in a near-live setup. The experiment should not be interpreted as an indication that the SNB will issue a wholesale CBDC. read more


Dirk Niepelt is director of the Study Center Gerzensee; professor at the University of Bern; President of the Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics; research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR, London); CESifo (Munich) research network member; and member of the macroeconomic committee of the Verein für Socialpolitik. Prior to joining the Study Center, he was assistant professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) at Stockholm University. He was an invited professor at the University of Lausanne; a visiting professor at the IIES; and held visiting positions at the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Before completing his doctoral education, he worked at applied research institutes in St. Gallen and Zurich (FEW, KOF). Dirk Niepelt received his PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds licentiate and doctorate degrees from the University of St. Gallen. 


Ulrich Bindseil has been Director General of Market Operations at the European Central Bank (ECB) since May 2012, after serving as Deputy Director General of the same department from 2009 to 2012. Prior to that, he was Head of the ECB’s Risk Management Division. The ECB’s Directorate General Market Operations is responsible for implementing monetary policy (e.g. Eurosystem credit operations, collateral and counterparty frameworks, outright purchase programs) and for the management of the ECB’s foreign reserves and investment portfolios. After completing his studies in economics, Ulrich Bindseil joined central banking in 1994, namely in the Economics Department of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Bindseil’s publications include “Monetary Policy Operations and the Financial System” (OUP, 2014) and “Central Banking Before 1800 – A Rehabilitation” (OUP, forthcoming).
Morten Bech joined the BIS in mid-2011. Before taking up his current assignment in 2020, he was the head of the secretariat supporting the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures with responsibility for coordinating and contributing to the activities of the Committee and its various working groups. He has also served as Secretary to the Markets Committee. He previously worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Danish central bank. In 2009, he was a visitor at the Monetary Affairs Division of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington DC. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has written on various issues relating to monetary policy implementation, money markets, the network topology of financial markets, large-value payment systems and systemic risk.

With friendly support of the Intesa Sanpaolo Chair in Economics of Financial Regulation, Bocconi University.
SUERF gratefully acknowledges professional technical support of SUERF online events by the OeNB’s Information Management and Services Division.

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