Redeemable Platform Currencies
Can massive online retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba issue digital tokens that potentially compete with bank debit accounts? We explore whether a large platform’s ability to guarantee value and liquidity by issuing prototype digital tokens for in-platform purchases constitutes a significant advantage that could potentially be leveraged into wider use. Our central finding is that unless introducing tradability creates a significant convenience yield, platforms can potentially earn higher revenues by making tokens non-tradable. The analysis suggests that if platforms have any comparative advantage in issuing tradable tokens, it comes from other factors.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26464