Money, privacy, anonymity: What do experiments tell us?

Emanuele Borgonovo, Stefano Caselli, Alessandra Cillo, Donato Masciandaro, Giovanni Rabitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The attention paid to the role of money as a store of privacy is increasing. In a monetary transaction, full privacy protection coincides with anonymity. In such situations, an empirical question arises: Is anonymity relevant in shaping the demand for money? We attempt to answer this question through laboratory experiments. The results show that anonymity matters and increases the overall appeal of a medium of payment, and that this effect is stronger for risk-prone individuals. Moreover, the trade-off between the two properties of liquidity and return is relatively high – to accept higher illiquidity risks, individuals require a more-than-proportional increase in the expected return. In general, the experiments suggest that the future attractiveness of alternative currencies depends on whether the three properties of money are mixed in a way that is consistent with the individual’s preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100934
JournalJournal of Financial Stability
Early online date20 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Anonymity
  • Cash
  • Central bank digital currencies
  • Experimental economics
  • Money demand
  • Privacy
  • Private digital currencies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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