Digital currencies could boost financial health

Design and interoperability of digital currencies key to realising benefits

Millions of people in the US are outside of the formal financial system and transact primarily in cash. Many more are underserved by the current financial system, which needs an upgrade. It is time to expand from traditional notions of financial inclusion to the broader goal of universal financial health – to make the system more affordable, efficient and inclusive. Innovations in technology and digital currencies, including distributed ledgers, cryptography and smart contracts, could be part of the solution.

Financial health is the ability to spend, save, borrow and plan in a manner that enables resilience and the pursuit of opportunities. It can be measured by eight indicators, shown in Figure 1.

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