The major financial ratings agency Moody’s named central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins as two of the four forces that “have the potential to dislodge financial incumbents from their dominant role as middlemen in the financial system.”
The four forces, which also include Big Tech companies like Google or Facebook, and fintech firms like Square or PayPal, will become key forces “as the migration to digital accelerates,” the agency said in a report published on Tuesday.
Together, these four forces “could enable a future where phone wallets use CBDCs to provide basic ‘narrow banking’ services, or where aggregated demand from billions of consumers in a frictionless marketplace forces financial institutions to compete more fiercely,” the report said.
It also placed a heavy emphasis on the prospects of CBDCs to offer “faster, cheaper, safer and more inclusive money” to the world. It went on to say that “state money” as we know it today is “under pressure to modernize.”
“CBDCs could level the playing field” by cutting out existing middlemen like banks, the report said, while also adding that they “could strengthen financial stability by increasing the public’s exposure to risk-free assets.”
Meanwhile, the report added that stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies, dubbed “stateless money” by Moody’s, are potential disruptors because they bypass “traditional financial middlemen and gatekeepers.” However, they still remain “a wild card for now,” Moody’s said, although it noted that investments into the sector “continue apace.”
“[…] there is a lot of capital and research going toward creating a new financial system that bypasses traditional centralized gatekeepers,” Moody’s said, while also pointing out that although some of this may be “a solution in search of a problem,” only a single cryptocurrency needs to succeed “in order to reshape the landscape.”