What is the underpinning structure of money worldwide? Do we still need public money as we move into a more digital world?

On this episode of “Money Reimagined,” Michael Casey, solo in Davos, Switzerland, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, speaks with Neha Narula, the director of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative to discuss the trends of both digitalization and innovation pertaining to stablecoins, digital currencies and the future of public money,

Their conversation takes a deeper dive into the interesting way in which crypto is perceived among the establishment at the WEF. Despite there being fewer direct panels on the topic during the WEF Congress, Narula observes that every other panel on finance couldn’t avoid talking about crypto. It shows, she says, that despite the fallout from all the speculation in “token casinos,” the technology is “not going away.”

Neha also shares about Project Hamilton, the experimental digital cash project that MIT is driving in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. It’s a digital dollar prototype idea that explores the parameters of what it means to produce “public money” with the rights that need to go along with that. She explains that in some respects it’s an effort to recreate cash, noting that “you don’t have to sign a terms of service or download an app” to use cash, and where the privacy of the user is preserved.

Narula talks about how important it is that MIT convinced the Fed to adopt open-source code for the project because “this is your money and you have to be able to see what the code is doing.”

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This episode was produced and edited by Michele Musso with announcements by Adam B. Levine and our executive producer, Jared Schwartz. Our theme song is “Shepard.”