Stablecoins: Growth Potential and Impact on Banking

26 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2022

See all articles by John Caramichael

John Caramichael

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Gordon Liao

Circle Internet Financial

Date Written: January 1, 2022


Stablecoins have experienced tremendous growth in the past year, serving as a possible breakthrough innovation in the future of payments. In this paper, we discuss the current use cases and growth opportunities of stablecoins, and we analyze the potential for stablecoins to broadly impact the banking system. The impact of stablecoin adoption on traditional banking and credit provision can vary depending on the sources of inflow and the composition of stablecoin reserves. Among the various scenarios, a two-tiered banking system can both support stablecoin issuance and maintain traditional forms of credit creation. In contrast, a narrow bank approach for digital currencies can lead to disintermediation of traditional banking, but may provide the most stable peg to fiat currencies. Additionally, dollar-pegged stablecoins backed by adequately safe and liquid collateral can potentially serve as a digital safe haven currency during periods of crypto market distress.

Keywords: Stablecoins, Digital currencies, Credit intermediation, Banking, Systemic risk, Fintech, Financial innovation, Payment system

JEL Classification: E40, E50, F33, G10, G20, O30

Suggested Citation

Caramichael, John and Liao, Gordon, Stablecoins: Growth Potential and Impact on Banking (January 1, 2022). International Finance Discussion Paper No. 1334, Available at SSRN: or

John Caramichael (Contact Author)

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Gordon Liao

Circle Internet Financial ( email )

Boston, MA

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