Tech vs. Trees: SAT college-entrance exam to shift from paper-and-pencil to digital, Bank of America predicts US could issue digital dollar by 2025, more couples expected to embrace paperless wedding invitations

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

LOS ANGELES , January 28, 2022 () –

A roundup of recent trends pitting technology against the printed word:

Tech: SAT college-entrance exam to shift from paper-and-pencil to digital

For U.S. college-bound high school students, taking the SAT exam will become an exclusively online experience starting in 2024. The shift to eliminate pencils and paper booklets will happen even sooner internationally, as students in other countries will take the test online by 2023, The New York Times reported Jan. 25. The College Board made the decision as more colleges have become test-optional and the number of students taking the SAT has fallen to 1.5 million for the class of 2021 from 2.2 million for the class of 2020. Another high-stakes test is also going digital in the next few years. The National Conference of Bar Examiners is expected to launch a bar exam that’s taken entirely online by 2026, Reuters reported Jan. 26. 


Tech: Bank of America predicts US could issue digital dollar by 2025

While interest rate hikes may be the hot topic surrounding the Federal Reserve, the central bank released a much-anticipated paper on Jan. 20 regarding its view on adopting a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Though the Fed said Congress should be the one to decide on CBDC, Bank of America sees CBDC adoption as inevitable and projects the U.S. will issue a digital currency between 2025 and 2030, Global Banking News reported Jan. 26. In the BofA report, analysts Andrew Moss and Alkesh Shah identified obstacles to CBDC adoption, including financial instability, user privacy and illegal transactions, CoinList reported Jan. 25. The Fed report echoed those concerns, noting that a poorly designed digital dollar would create privacy issues and destabilize the financial system. BTIG Director of Policy Research Isaac Boltansky is “bearish on a legislative solution emerging” and sees a Fed-backed CBDC as “years away from launch,” Reuters reported Jan. 24. Meanwhile, other countries have made more progress on CBDC, including China, Korea and Sweden, while the Bahamas has already adopted a digital currency.


Tech: More couples expected to embrace paperless wedding invitations

With weddings expected to reach record numbers in 2022, paperless invitations may become more popular, as couples try to cut costs and use a format that enables last-minute changes. James Hirschfeld, co-founder of online invitation company Paperless Post, can attest to the interest, noting that couples are embracing online wedding invitations more than ever, Vogue reported Jan. 24. Recently, Paperless Post’s offerings have expanded to include 37 different wedding e-vite designs from fashion house Carolina Herrera. Even wedding experts are encouraging couples to go digital, as planner Bryan Rafanelli noted, “It eliminates the stress of snail mail never getting to guests on time.” The concern is not unfounded, as paper shortages affected the wedding industry in 2021, with some types of paper stocks being unavailable, according to a number of stationery companies, WeddingWire reported Sept. 23, 2021. 



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Dan Rivard
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