May 2020: New ECB Macroprudential Bulletin – A regulatory and financial stability perspective on global stablecoins

By Mitsutoshi Adachi, Matteo Cominetta, Christoph Kaufmann and Anton van der Kraai

Stablecoins with the potential for global reach (“global stablecoins”) could help to address unmet consumer demand for payment services that are fast, cheap and easy to use and can operate across borders. However, while there is indeed the potential for such benefits, global stablecoins also pose challenges and risks. This article focuses on the asset management function of global stablecoins, assessing their regulatory and financial stability implications. We start by looking at how global stablecoins could be classified under the current financial regulations, arguing that regulatory gaps may exist with certain design features. We also discuss the financial stability risks posed by global stablecoins and estimate the potential size of a global stablecoin arrangement, using the Libra initiative as an example. We conclude that the malfunctioning of a global stablecoin’s asset management function could pose risks to financial stability given its potential size and interlinkages with the financial system. In order to reap the potential benefits of global stablecoins, a robust regulatory framework needs to be put in place in order to address these risks before such arrangements are allowed to operate.

Link: A regulatory and financial stability perspective on global stablecoins