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Virtual Currency Schemes
ECB
eBook Edition: 2012

Virtual Currency Schemes - European Central BankVirtual communities have proliferated in recent years – a phenomenon triggered by technological developments and by the increased use of the internet. In some cases, these communities have created and circulated their own currency for exchanging the goods and services they offer, and thereby provide a medium of exchange and a unit of account for that particular virtual
community.
This paper aims to provide some clarity on virtual currencies and tries to address the issue in a structured approach. It is important to take into account that these currencies both resemble money and necessarily come with their own dedicated retail payment systems; these two aspects are covered by the term “virtual currency scheme”. Virtual currency schemes are relevant in several areas of the financial system and are therefore of interest to central banks. This, among other things, explains the ECB’s interest in carrying out an analysis, especially in view of its role as a catalyst for payment systems and its oversight role.

eBook Contents

Introduction (Preliminary remarks and motivation, A short historical review of money, Money in the virtual world) - Virtual Currency Schemes (Definition and categorisation, Virtual currency schemes and electronic money, Payment arrangements in virtual currency schemes, Reasons for implementing virtual currency schemes) - Case Studies (The Bitcoin scheme, The Second Life scheme) - The relevance of virtual currency schemes for central banks (Risks to price stability, Risks to financial stability, Risks to payment system stability, Lack of regulation, Reputational risk) - Conclusion

eBook License: Copyrighted (Personal Use Only)

Free PDF eBook - 1,86 Mb - 55 pages

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