While digital currencies have the potential to fundamentally transform the financial system, at this point they are primarily the preserve of speculators, says Moody’s Investors Service in a new report.
The rating agency said that as mainstream organizations, including traditional banks and large tech companies, look to launch digital currencies, the prospect of an increasingly digitized financial system holds the promise of improved efficiency.
Moody’s said that cryptocurrencies have the potential to eliminate some intermediary functions, “improving convenience and efficiency” as streamlining processes could lead to reduced costs.
But that, at this point, crypto faces a variety of constraints, Moody’s said, including scalability, security and the reliability of the technology, along with possible regulatory action if digital currencies gain traction.
“Over time, the rising prevalence of digital currencies will shape the development of digital platforms by companies in many different sectors. But for now, the scalability, security and reliability of these currencies are key constraints to their widespread adoption,” Moody’s said.
Given these limitations, Moody’s said that cryptocurrencies are “unlikely to displace official currencies as a medium of exchange.”
At this point, cryptocurrencies are primarily “speculative instruments for investors” it said.
And, while these instruments are “pushing the boundaries” of traditional investment, Moody’s said that, in their current form, they don’t represent a risk to financial stability.