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Augmenting Fiat Currency with an Integrated Managed Cryptocurrency

by   Peter Mell, et al.

In this work, we investigate how the governance features of a managed currency (e.g., a fiat currency) can be built into a cryptocurrency in order to leverage potential benefits found in the use of blockchain technology and smart contracts. The resulting managed cryptocurrency can increase transparency and integrity, while potentially enabling the emergence of novel monetary instruments. It has similarities to cash in that it enables the general public to immediately transfer funds to a recipient without intermediary systems being involved. However, our system is account-based, unlike circulating bank notes that are self-contained. Our design would allow one to satisfy know your customer laws and be subject to law enforcement actions following legal due process (e.g., account freezing and fund seizure), while mitigating counterparty risk with checks and balances. Funds can thus be transferred only between approved and authenticated users. Our system has on-chain governance capabilities using smart contracts deployed on a dedicated, permissioned blockchain that has different sets of control mechanisms for who can read data, write data, and publish blocks. To enable the governance features, only authorized identity proofed entities can submit transactions. To enable privacy, only the block publishers can read the blockchain; the publishers maintain dedicated nodes that provide access controlled partial visibility of the blockchain data. Being permissioned, we can use a simple consensus protocol with no transaction fees. A separate security layer prevents denial of service and a balance of power mechanism prevents any small group of entities from having undue control. While permissioned, we ensure that no one entity controls the blockchain data or block publishing capability through a voting system with publicly visible election outcomes.


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