The CEO of Citigroup thinks it’s only a matter of time before nations transition to digital currencies. The comments come as Citigroup explores trading shares via blockchain.
Corbat: Bitcoin to Have Nation-States Scrambling Soon Enough
In a bureaucratic sense, governments are often conservative when it comes to enacting systemic societal changes. But when money is at stake, institutions become as adaptable as they need to be.
That appears to be the dynamic at present as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies power through new adoption and price milestones. Indeed, as the crypto space achieves success in general, governments are increasingly determined to capitalize on this success.
And, according to Citigroup Inc., CEO Michael Corbat, this trend is going to surge further ahead in the coming years.
During a November 8th interview at the Bloomberg Year Ahead summit, Corbat declared that state-sponsored digital tenders would soon be sweeping the globe.
“I don’t think governments are going to take lightly other people coming in and potentially disrupting their abilities around data, around tax collection, around money laundering, around know-your-customer…It’s likely that we’re going to see governments introduce, not cryptocurrencies—I think cryptocurrency is a bad moniker for that—but a digital currency.”
Corbat also went on to remark that Citigroup wouldn’t be shunning blockchain now or ever, saying, “You won’t hear us be dismissive in terms of the nascent technology because it’s real and there is something there.”
And Corbat’s words here are as good as Citigroup’s deeds. The powerhouse corporation has recently created Citicoin—a facilitator of foreign currency exchanges—and is now collaborating with Nasdaq on a shares-via-blockchain trading platform.
Interested Nations Could Look to Early Experimenters for Examples
As far as crypto-politics go, one of the most explosive developments of 2017 was Russia’s decision to create and institute the crypto-ruble—a digital currency version of Russia’s national currency that would be powered by a blockchain ledger.
In placing itself at the vanguard of state-sponsored cryptocurrencies, then, Russia is also positioning itself as a high-profile example that other nations will imminently follow.
So, too, has the government of Dubai started working on a national cryptocurrency, the emCash.
With other notable nations like Japan and Sweden flirting with the creation of their cryptocurrencies, it seems to be just a matter of time now before governmental interest in the space reaches a critical mass and institutional development skyrockets.
The domino effect of adoption necessitates that late nation-state arrivals will have to look at early adopters like Russia and Dubai in crafting their cryptocurrencies.
The entire world’s money supply will then move “on-chain” and cryptocurrencies may become as ubiquitous as paper money is throughout the globe today.