The BBC published an article on Saturday "Ecuador gives details of new digital currency" reporting that the Central Bank of Ecuador was to issue a digital currency. The story apparently originated with the New Delhi Television (NDTV) technology team, to which the BBC provides a link. The BBC report is largely a rewrite of the NDTV article but claims that the money is to be used to pay civil servants, which is flatly contradicted by the NDTV article, and which apparently comes from an August 24th piece in the Wall Street Journal attacking the plan. The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar with coins denominated in fractions of a dollar issued by the Central Bank and The WSJ article labelled the proposals "an escape hatch to get out of dollarization."
This is an excerpt from James Robertson's newsletter. James Robertson is the co-author of the book Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age (2000). Positive Money proposals are heavily based on this work which in turn builds on the original proposal for „Full Reserve Banking“ by Irving Fisher.
Under the current monetary system customer deposits provide banks with a cheap source of central bank reserves, which are required to make the payments to other banks that may result from the issuing of loans. (Banks acquire central bank reserves (base money) when payments are made to their customers’ bank accounts.) However, despite helping to fund the loans, depositors have no say and little idea over the use of ‘their’ money. They may therefore be unwittingly helping to fund activities that they disagree with.