The Future of Money

Money and the digital revolution


The future of money is coming fast. The next decade will look very different from the last. Citizens who ultimately back our currency through their productive efforts and taxes must be in the driving seat as these changes unfold. We can’t leave it all up to experts, technocrats and vested interests. It’s time to skill up and buckle up for the ride of our economic future.


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Money is already digital. The cash that underpins the value of our money has shrunk to just 2% of the money in circulation. The Reserve Bank issues these notes and coins, but largely foreign-owned commercial banks issue the rest (‘bank money’). They decide how much of our money to issue, to whom and for what purposes.

As an even more digital world of money and banking confronts us, central banks in New Zealand and worldwide are looking at getting into the digital money space directly, issuing their own digital money, called central bank digital currency (CBDC). Meanwhile, new players – including some of the world’s biggest tech companies – are eying up the lucrative market for privately-issued money (bank money).

How will money in this emerging world work for our people and economy? Who will control its issue, and how will the incumbent banks react and adapt? What impact will it have on our monetary sovereignty, i.e. the extent to which the New Zealand Government and the Reserve Bank retain control of the stability, and even continuing existence, of the New Zealand Dollar?

At Positive Money, we believe we must embrace this new era, but we need to go into it with eyes wide open and intense civil society debate. It should deliver a better balance between private money and the public money that underpins it. And it must see control of our currency firmly in public hands, guided by public, not private, interests.

The Reserve Bank’s Future of Money project

The Reserve Bank is leading a project looking at the Future of Money in New Zealand. It is undertaking public consultation to examine money and how the monetary system should work in the face of major change. Positive Money has been campaigning for such a ‘first principles’ review since our inception. Follow the progress of this important enquiry, our analysis and submissions.

Ground breaking papers from the Reserve Bank

Ground breaking papers from the Reserve Bank

The Reserve Bank has come out with a couple of courageous and ground breaking consultation papers on the future of money, says Positive Money national spokesperson Don Richards.
Key to the documents is the clear distinction between ‘central bank money’ and ‘private money’, issued mainly by commercial banks, the majority of our money supply.

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