PwC Partner: Central Banks Should First Let Private Corporations Experiment With Cryptocurrencies

  • Pauline Adam Kalfon, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) division in France, has said that central banks should first let corporations experiment with cryptocurrencies.
  • Kalfon argued that it's too risky for a central bank to issue its own crypto as it might negatively affect a nation's economy.

Pauline Adam Kalfon, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) division in France, has argued that the process of issuing digital currencies (in this case, cryptographic currencies) should be handled by private entities such as Facebook and JPMorgan.

PwC Already Working With Developers Of Leading Blockchain Projects

PwC, one of the world’s largest professional services and accounting firms, has been involved in various crypto-related initiatives. For instance, PwC partnered in May of 2018 with the developers of VeChain (VET), the leading blockchain-based supply chain management platform. The partnership involves working with VeChain’s commercial entity - a global tech holding firm - in order to integrate part of VeChain’s blockchain infrastructure into some of PwC’s operations.

However, PwC France’s Kalfon believes central banks should not (yet) experiment with issuing their own digital currencies (CBDCs). Presumably, issuing a CBDC could pose certain unforeseen risks as cryptos are still in their early stages of development.

Kalfon, who previously worked as a consultant at Deloitte, which is also among the world’s “Big Four” professional services firms, has suggested central banks should consider looking into CBDCs - only after cryptocurrencies have been “battle-tested by [large] corporations.” According to Kalfon’s assessment, thorough testing of cryptocurrencies is required by commercial entities - before central banks begin using them.

Needing To Transfer Money At "Dizzying Speed Of Smart Contracts"

If a bank introduces its own cryptocurrency without conducting adequate research, then it could potentially have negative effects on a nation’s economy, Kalfon explained. She added that Banque de France, France’s central financial institution (currently operating under the aegis of the European central bank), might not be adequately prepared at this point to introduce its own CBDC. Kalfon remarked:

It is clear that a European-level project would be very complex and challenging governance-wise, requiring alignment and the political consensus of all relevant stakeholders from each Member State.

In mid-February, J.P. Morgan Chase, the largest US bank (and sixth largest in the world), announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency, called “JPM Coin.” In its announcement , J.P. Morgan’s management noted it had developed its on crypto because blockchain-based digital assets would be widely-used in the foreseeable future. According to J.P. Morgan, it "needed a way to transfer money at the same dizzying speed that those smart contracts closed, rather than relying on old technology like wire transfers."

Blockchain, Crypto Markets Have Become "More Mature"

Commenting on JPMorgan’s initiative (last month), Umar Farooq, the head at JPMorgan, had said:

So anything that currently exists in the world, as that moves onto the blockchain, this would be the payment leg for that transaction. The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this.

Meanwhile, Kalfon recently stated:

In 2019, blockchain and cryptocurrency markets have become more mature, robust, and we see ambitious projects being developed with the right focus and dedication away from the spotlight.