Our Digital Lives Need Digital Money
David Treat 戴維·特里特
Money has evolved in the thousands of years since humans began using it to facilitate the ability to trade. That evolution has been driven by two factors， what people need and expect their money to do and the technology which enables a new way to use it. When the two have come together， we've seen significant developments in what our money looks like and how we can use it.
During most of that time， the evolutionary process has hummed quietly in the background. Yet， at a few key tipping points， we've seen big， more rapidly adopted developments. Even before COVID-19， we were at one of those important moments. In the U.S.， people were engaging in the digital world， and transacting there， an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes each day. （That figure has risen to 13 hours and 36 minutes during the pandemic.） Globally， there are more than 3.5 billion internet users who are conducting more than US$4.4 billion in digital payments per year - activity that is growing at a compounded annual rate of 17%.
But even though we are immersed in a digital world， we haven't fully embraced two of the critical elements to operate within it safely and efficiently: digital money that can be exchanged as simply and certainly as it can be in the physical world， and a trusted and efficient manner to share identity information for people and entities. These are crucial developments as we move to the next phase of the internet: The Internet of Value.
The Internet of Value operates within an infrastructure that allows individuals and organizations to directly and seamlessly transfer value without the limitations of the physical world. Innovations in tokenization and decentralization are evolving to meet demands for digital money and efficient virtual payments， which will make more of these transactions possible. Central bankers have increasingly recognized the importance of the growth of this infrastructure and the demand to transact through it. Using blockchain and distributed ledger technology， policy makers are examining the use of central bank digital currencies （CBDCs） alongside their coins and paper money.
Momentum is growing quickly: 80% of central banks are working on CBDC capabilities， with 10% of them already piloting projects.
The expectations have been set for consumers and now the technology is able to deliver. Our increasingly digital world needs digitally native money and digital identity. One must be developed with the other in mind in order for them to realize their true potential. The Internet of Value will transform the way people and organizations transact over the internet but only if we can trust we are transacting with the people we think we are.