On Monday, May 24, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard backed the idea of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and stated that it could bring along a variety of benefits.
The Fed Governor also added that having a Digital Dollar will help to reach out to the “underbanked” people in America. Besides, it will improve the efficiency of cross-border payments and transactions. Brainard also noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has fostered the need for such a system wherein the larger public has access to well-regulated digital money. The Fed governor added:
“The Federal Reserve remains committed to ensuring that the public has access to safe, reliable, and secure means of payment, including cash. As part of this commitment, we must explore — and try to anticipate — the extent to which households’ and businesses’ needs and preferences may migrate further to digital payments over time.”
However, Brainard remained critical of her views on public cryptocurrencies without particularly naming any of them. She noted that such alternate systems present several problems including potential fraud.
“By introducing safe central bank money that is accessible to households and businesses in digital payments systems, a CBDC would reduce counterparty risk and the associated consumer protection and financial stability risks,” added the Fed governor.
Fed Releasing A Working Research Paper of Digital Dollar This Summer
The recent comments from the Fed governor come just two days after the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated last Friday that the U.S. central bank will release the research paper for Digital Dollar by this summer. Powell added that the central bank is “carefully monitoring and adapting” to those innovations. In a video message last Friday, Powell said:
“The effective functioning of our economy requires that people have faith and confidence not only in the dollar, but also in the payment networks, banks, and other payment service providers that allow money to flow on a daily basis.
Our focus is on ensuring a safe and efficient payment system that provides broad benefits to American households and businesses while also embracing innovation”.
While the U.S. doesn’t want to rush the issuance of Digital Dollar, these developments are certainly an indication as to where things are heading in the long term.