Stefan Rust, CEO of Laguna Labs, says:

“While the crypto world has been laser focussed on the collapse of FTX this week, the New York Federal Reserve has quietly launched a 12-week pilot for CBDCs in collaboration with some of the US’s biggest banks. The pilot will see the central bank explore the feasibility of an “interoperable network of central bank wholesale digital money and commercial bank digital money operating on a shared multi-entity distributed ledger.”

The result of this pilot could be momentous. CBDCs have been creeping ever closer as the world has been watching China’s digital yuan roll-out and it’s likely that recent events will only accelerate the CBDC narrative. Central banks and regulators will use the collapse of FTX as a way to promote CBDCs as a “safer crypto environment for users”.

This may precipitate a cold war between decentralized stablecoins and CBDCs as users concerned about their liberty move more towards the former as governments push the latter harder to give them full control over their citizens’ spending.

The biggest factor in all of this will be the people. Thanks to crypto, citizens worldwide now have the right to choose which currency they use daily to pay for purchases and maintain their cost of living. This is what we as an industry set out to do – to really provide people with a choice over how they spend, save and invest.

It is likely we will see a split among blockchain users between those that will love working with CBDCs and others that will prefer blockchain-enabled, centralized currencies, and there will be another portion that will prefer censorship-resistant, decentralized options. Let the people choose what they want, and let the best win. The choices that consumers and savers make will filter out the good from the bad. Ultimately, market will decide.”

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