Five Futures of Currency: Fiat vs Credit, CBDC, Stablecoins, and Crypto

  • Lois Tullo, Executive in Residence, Global Risk Institute
Digitally rendered bitcoin logo with computer circuit in background


What will the future of currency be in ten years? When looking forward towards a complex and volatile future influenced by changing technological, geopolitical, societal, economic, and environmental trends, straight math does not provide a solution. Over 100 international experts were asked to identify the most influential risks and trends that formed the basis for well-informed, reality-based scenarios. Through back-casting future scenarios, this paper aims to build upon organizations’ fields of experience and open their expectations horizons. The goal of this paper is not to predict; it is to assist in preparation for alternative outcomes. Business and government leaders, and their teams, must consider, plan for and take proactive measures to contend with the plausible futures of currency, which means being flexible on how to accomplish transformation. Out of these scenarios, we review events, use cases, identify early warning signals and assess paths that will maximize the opportunities plausible future states offer and increase organizations’ competitive positions.

The current state of money in North America, Europe, Asia and many developing countries is relatively siloed with overlapping solutions being most evident in Asia, led by China. The future state will see a blend of competing currencies.


Fields Institute, University of Toronto