Odunayo Olowookere

PhD Candidate
Odunayo Olowookere photo
Dissertation Title
Legal Aspects of the Institutional Design Framework of Monetary Policy in a Digital Age

In my academic journey, I've been on a quest to understand and contribute to the evolving landscape of law and technology. Armed with an LLM in Law from Osgoode Hall Law School and a multidisciplinary research MSc degree in law and finance from the University of London, Queen Mary, I've delved into the regulatory intricacies surrounding information asymmetries in financial markets. My professional background spans private practice, academia, and policy analysis. I have honed my skills in regulatory/policy analysis, and financial and economic analysis. Currently, my research is centered on the legal dimensions of the institutional design of monetary policy in the digital age. Specifically, I'm exploring the regulatory framework for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). This journey has led me to collaborative projects addressing the complex challenges of CBDCs, such as Compliance Design Options for potential CBDC designs. Beyond the academa, I've embarked on a journey of continuous learning, by pursuing the Certified Blockchain Expert designation. This commitment underscores my dedication to staying at the forefront of developments in law and technology. I aim to create an engaging and inclusive learning environment that explores the dynamic intersection of law, technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation.


In our day to day transactions, banks, currency, and payment mechanisms play indispensable roles. Recent developments have harnessed technology to facilitate payment processes for online transactions through virtual bank accounts or digital payment platforms/solutions. These innovations have further encouraged a landscape where financial experts adeptly leverage technology for their operations. Meanwhile, a suitable legal framework struggles to keep pace with this transformative tide. Enter virtual currencies—a progeny of financial and technological ingenuity- promising privacy akin to physical cash and ensuring a secure, direct, and more efficient transactional pathway from payer to payee at a reduced cost. However, this innovation not only tests the boundaries of commercial laws but also poses a formidable challenge to the fundamental concept of monetary sovereignty. The ongoing race between innovation and our foundational financial and legal principles is pivotal for shaping the future of money and monetary policy. Pursuant to the above, my research can be divided into three separate but related parts: 1. REDEFINING MONETARY LAW IN A DIGITAL AGE: THE PILLARS OF MONETARY LAW, LEGAL TENDER AND CURRENCY LAWS: This part of my research commences with a thorough examination of the legal frameworks governing central banks and broader monetary affairs. My primary objective here is to offer a precise and legally sound conceptual clarification for monetary affairs in a manner that outlines the roles and intersections of these interrelated legal domains. To achieve this, I conduct a comprehensive analysis of these laws to provide a comprehensive understanding of the layered relationship between monetary sovereignty, currency denominations, and the concept of "current notes". I intend to explore the relationship between Central Banking and Monetary Law, Payment Clearing laws, and Securities Law, and the effect digitizing money would have on these laws. 2. Cataloguing THE EVOLUTION OF MONEY AND THE CONSEQUENTIAL EVOLUTION OF CENTRAL BANKS: On this research point, the overarching goal is to outline the new roles of central banks in a digital age in anticipation of a more direct/close relationship (as opposed to the “arms-length” relationship) between the central bank and the people. My major focus here is compiling and analyzing the evolving role of the central bank. The starting point here will be the most recent introduction to the role of the central bank- maintaining financial stability. A role that emerged at the twilight of the 2008 financial crisis. From this point, I address the theories of money and attempt to examine their compatibility with the new roles of the central bank. From this point, I establish the foundations of a “smart social contract” by building on Hobbes’ Social Contract theory and his unique analysis of the role of the sovereign. On this foundation, I intend to develop a legal framework that supports a new iteration of currency/programmable money. 3. ACCESSIBILITY and BALANCING TRADEOFFS AMIDST the MISALIGNED OBJECTIVES: Here I analyze the important trade-offs within CBDC design, emphasizing the delicate balance between privacy and transparency in CBDC design. Additionally, I explore the likelihood of technology replacing the soft law provisions that normally maintain the equilibrium between interest rates, remuneration, inflation, price control, and the mechanics of deploying monetary policy through programmable money.” Since the privacy-transparency trade-offs reinforce the empirical legitimacy of money, I intend to situate this trade-off within CBDC design as a core requirement for the money user in any acceptable design of money. To ensure this requirement is met, it might be necessary to develop a tailored framework for CBDCs that aligns with existing privacy frameworks. This will ensure a more privacy-conscious payment system and process and could motivate potential money users to accept this form of money.