BIS: Stablecoins versus tokenised deposits: implications for the singleness of money

BIS Bulletin | No 73 | 11 April 2023
by Rodney Garratt and Hyun Song Shin

Key takeaways:

  • Private tokenised monies that circulate as bearer instruments, like stablecoins, may entail departures in their relative exchange values away from par in violation of the “singleness of money”.
  • In contrast, tokenised deposits that do not circulate as bearer instruments but rather settle in central bank money are more conducive to singleness.
  • Tokenised deposits may enable expanded functionality by building on the capacity of programmable ledgers to introduce contingent execution and composability of transactions.

A cornerstone of the modern monetary system is the “singleness of money”. Singleness ensures that monetary exchange is not subject to fluctuating exchange rates between different forms of money, whether they be privately issued money (eg deposits) or publicly issued money (eg cash). With singleness of money, there is an unambiguous unit of account that underpins all economic transactions in society.

The full paper is available at

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