Does it Matter for CBDC Design? Privacy-Anonymity Preferences from the Side of Hierarchies and Egalitarian Cultural Patterns
Evolution of digital money demonstrates that CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency means a digital form of traditional fiat currencies) design is really challenging. While technically possible CBDC solutions are visible, much of institutional aspects are rest to be unsolved. One of the issues is a degree of privacy and anonymity. All historical forms of money had intrinsic property of non-traceability of transactions and only now this feature of non-digital money is recognized as strong
... nal advance. At the same time, privacy and anonymity preferences could relate to cultural attitudes. However, money may distort expected logical relations between such patterns like "less hierarchies more privacy-anonymity" or "more egalitarianism less privacy-anonymity". This potentially means that money may posit extra propensity to privacy-anonymity that is going beyond the cultural attitudes. Basing on the survey, we demonstrate some contradictions in how respondents perceive the preference of functional usability over anonymity of transactions. The same is relevant when cultural patterns are taken into account. It is more likely to find cultural closeness across respondents from different regions than strong determinacy of privacy-anonymity preferences by propensity to hierarchies or egalitarianism. Additionally, we checked hierarchies or egalitarianism attitudes by additional questions and found some mixed results. Also, we found some conformism culture (meaning unstable preferences) and rely it with lack of trust in public institutions. When centralized money are less trusted people faster agree to sacrifice anonymity in the benefits of functionality. The main take away is that it is unlikely to expect the unity of optimal CBDC design across countries. Aside of behavioural distortions, culture still matter and it is likely to expect future variety of digital money from functional usability privacy-anonymity trade-off.