Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, encouraged the United States to be a leader in research and policy regarding central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, due to potential international developments.

In remarks prepared for the U.S Monetary Policy Forum in New York on Friday, Brainard said the People’s Bank of China’s pilot program for its digital yuan could have implications on the dollar’s dominance in cross-border payments and payment systems. However, a digital dollar could allow people around the world to continue to rely on its fiat counterpart.

“It is prudent to consider how the potential absence or issuance of a U.S. CBDC could affect the use of the dollar in payments globally in future states where one or more major foreign currencies are issued in CBDC form,” said Brainard. “A U.S. CBDC may be one potential way to ensure that people around the world who use the dollar can continue to rely on the strength and safety of U.S. currency to transact and conduct business in the digital financial system.”

Lael Brainard addressing members of the Senate Banking Committee on Feb. 3

While China is making its CBDC available to international visitors for the Winter Olympics, the U.S. still seems to be in the exploratory phase of rolling out a digital dollar. During her time at the Fed, Brainard has often spoken in favor of the U.S. issuing a CBDC, given the dominance of the fiat dollar in international payments.

Brainard, nominated to be the next vice chair of the Federal Reserve, is currently awaiting to be confirmed by the…

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