The ongoing coronavirus pandemic accelerates central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments, according to Deutsche Bank macro strategist Marion Laboure.
In a tweet from April 3, Deutsche Bank cites Laboure’s claim that the risk of cash spreading the coronavirus further will motivate authorities to consider digital alternatives.
CBDCs: a necessary response to the coronavirus
As Cointelegraph reported in mid-February, China started a quarantine of its used banknotes in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Research published in 2008 showed that the influenza virus was able to survive on banknotes up to 17 days.
Laboure claims that governments increasingly view cash handling as a potential infection risk factor. This will likely become an additional reason to push for digital currencies. Another Deutsche Bank tweet quotes her as saying:
“A once-in-a-century pathogen demands once-in-a-century solutions. An obvious place to start is to accelerate the inevitable shift toward [digital cash].”
Different cash practices in different places
An article published by news outlet Project Syndicate on March 19, which was co-authored by Laboure, Harvard University’s fellow Juergen Braunstein and doctoral candidate and fellow Sachin Silva also makes the same suggestion. The article reads:
“While Chinese authorities have been destroying banknotes that have potentially come into contact with the coronavirus, Western countries remain woefully behind not just in their response to the pandemic, but also in adopting digital payments. One silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis is that this may soon change.”
Laboure did not answer Cointelegraph’s press inquiry by press time.
Interestingly, Laboure’s remarks are in contrast with research released by Deutsche Bank in late January. According to the report, cash will remain in circulation for a long period of time despite declining as a payment method and will not be replaced by digital currencies anytime soon.