Central banks may soon issue currencies that are entirely digital (CBDCs) and possibly interest-bearing. A strategic analytical framework is used to investigate this innovation in the laboratory, contrasting a traditional “plain” tokens baseline to treatments with “sophisticated” interest-bearing tokens. In the experiment, this theoretically beneficial innovation precluded the emergence of a stable monetary system, reducing trade and welfare. Similar problems emerged when sophisticated tokens complemented or replaced plain tokens. This evidence underscores the advantages of combining theoretical with experimental investigation to provide insights for payments systems innovation and policy design.
Camera, G. (2022). Introducing new forms of digital money: Evidence from the laboratory. ESI Working Paper 22-11. https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/372/