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Cryptocurrency May Always Be the Future
The proposed digital dollar will succeed only if it makes transactions faster, cheaper and more secure than credit cards. I doubt it can.


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Oct. 27, 2019 3:26 pm ET
[Image: im-116542?width=620&size=1.5]
J. Christopher Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine (“We Sent a Man to the Moon. We Can Send the Dollar to Cyberspace,” op-ed, Oct. 16) propose that a digital dollar be “created and maintained by a nongovernmental group but administered by banks and other trusted payment organizations.” They claim the new digital dollar would result in “much higher transaction speed, enhanced access and greater transparency.”
They suggest that cash brought into the system would be exchanged for digital dollars and the cash would be lodged in special escrow accounts with the Federal Reserve. However, the volume of purchases made with cash is small relative to the volume made with credit cards. Indeed, many people make most of their purchases with credit cards and pay off the balance each month. These transactions are entirely secure for businesses and consumers. Consequently, it’s hard to see how a cryptocurrency system would generate enough efficiency to warrant its creation and maintenance costs.
Moreover, I see no efficiency gain to transferring bank deposits into Fed deposits to have digital dollars. The proposed digital dollar will succeed only if it makes transactions faster, cheaper and more secure than credit cards. I doubt it can.
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